Let me first say that i am a Madison resident and unfortunately for us Il Mondo Vechio ("IMV") is the one and only "upscale" Italian in our town. IMV is a very pretty place, ideally located in the middle of downtown Madison. The first time my wife and I went there, we were quite excited. It's BYO which is fantastic and based on the reviews we read, were expecting a wonderful evening filled with great food. I made reservations earlier that day for 7pm. The evening went downhill as soon as we entered the front door. Place was very busy, which is totally fine and expected, however, when i checked in with the hostess, i soon came face to face with possibly one of the most miserable people i had ever met in my life. First, she abruptly informed me that our name was not on the list and actually had the nerve to challenge me in a very patronizing way on whether i had really made reservations! After a few minutes of back and forth debate, she told me to standby in the corner with the rest of the packed crowd. 20 minutes passed and she was able to squeeze us in at a tiny table by the front entrance. From there, the service was rushed, we had to hurry up and order our food without really getting the opportunity to review the menu. We stuck with the pasta's to keep it simple. Now i can almost tolerate poor / rude service so long as the food is exceptional, but the final straw for me with IMV was that their pasta's were oily / greasy with way too much garlic. I felt as though i was eating at Olive Garden. The check arrived before they even asked if we wanted dessert. I hurried to pay the bill and got out of there. 1 year later, stupid me decided to give them another shot. My misguided rationale for this was based on the premise that they simply had an "off night". This time i had a plan. The plan was to go there for an early dinner (5:30pm) so it would be nice and quiet, and they could focus on us. I arrived there 10 minutes early this time, and the evening started off quite promising with our name listed on their reservation book. The same miserable hostess was there again. They sat us in the middle of the dining room - we were the only people there. A portly, gruff/unfriendly waiter immediately came over, quickly recited the specials and stood over us! I had to tell him that we needed a few minutes. Not even 3 minutes later he comes back, standing over us, now seeming somewhat annoyed. At this point we just went ahead and ordered. Bear in mind that we hadn't even been sitting for 10 minutes and WE WERE THE ONLY TABLE THERE! This is where it gets good. Another party of 5 checks in AND THEY SIT THEM AT THE TABLE RIGHT NEXT TO US. The dining room is packed with tables and we were the only ones there at the time and this is where they sit us. It was quite a scene. 2 tables back to back in an empty dining room. Now the man sitting right behind me had to have been well over 300 lbs. So our chairs were literally back to back. That's ok, however, the hostess had the nerve to come up to me and ask if i could move my chair in so that the wait staff could squeeze by!!!!! i was already resting my arms on the table so now i had to move in so my chest was literally pressed against the table. At this point i was outraged and couldn't take anymore. I asked for the bill halfway through dinner, paid it with NO TIP and left never to return again. Friends of mine in the area have also reported similar experiences with the hostess and general service. I strongly urge anyone to steer clear of IMV!
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