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“Food at Banfi's wasn't so great”
Review of Taverna Banfi

Taverna Banfi
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Ranked #27 of 261 Restaurants in Ithaca
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 130 Statler Drive
A TripAdvisor Member
“Food at Banfi's wasn't so great”
Reviewed June 3, 2006

I had to write Banfi's the following letter:

On Saturday May 27, 2006 my family dined at Banfi’s Restaurant in celebration of my second sister graduating from Cornell. We had had an enjoyable meal two years prior for my other sister’s graduation dinner. However this year, the experience left much to be desired.

While the Shrimp Cocktail appetizer and Caesar Salad were both delicious and attractively prepared, I have complaints about nearly every other aspect of the meal.
Bread was only offered to our table once. Most of our party ordered the fillet of beef which was prepared adequately, albeit a little salty. The two of us who did not order the beef were woefully disappointed. My husbands’ fish fillet dinner was dry and overcooked. My mushroom risotto was the joke of the meal: the presentation left something to be desired, the texture was rather chewy and the rice seemed undercooked, the flavor was bland and not reminiscent of mushrooms. We passed the risotto around our table so everyone could taste just how bad it was. Despite 2/3 of the dish remaining on my plate when our server returned at the end of the meal, and my comment to her that it was terrible, we were offered no recompense or apology.

Then on to the dessert buffet, which we had hoped would be the highlight of our meal. We found ourselves waiting on line for the chance to try the crème brûlée or tiramisu. However the tiramisu never showed and the crème brulee seemed unattainable. The other desserts on the buffet table were inadequately maintained and the table was filthy.

To top off my evening, which was spent waiting for bread, not eating my terrible dinner, and waiting on line for crème brulee, the restaurant manager asked us to relinquish our table as others were waiting.

I find some solace in knowing that I’ll not have to return to Banfi’s now that I no longer have family members attending Cornell. But I feel compelled to share this last unpleasant experience with you in hopes that you might improve the service and make the dining experience more pleasurable for others.

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133 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    56
    47
    22
    5
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“Big City Quality”
Reviewed November 5, 2005

Banfi's quality, service, and ambiance are of levels comparable to top-notch New York restaurants such as The Palm and Morton's.

The menu is complete with creative appetizers and one of the best filet steaks I've ever eaten.

Banfi wine is of course the star of the wine list but other quality vineyards and countries are available.

And all this is at price levels of smaller city restaurants who don't have a tenth of the service and quality of Banfi's.

You don't have to be a Cornellian to appreciate dining at Banfi's on the Cornell campus and if you are seeking a fine dining experience in the heart of upstate, Banfi's is a hidden gem.

If you are tired of places like Moretti's in Elmira where they think their "giant" [brontorsaurus] filet is something to brag about, Banfi's is a quality alternative to the beer-belly crowd.

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1 Thank Don88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
“An amazing experience”
Reviewed February 28, 2005

Dining at Banfi's was the best part of my experience in Ithaca. With its newly inspired Tuscan, Italian menu this restaurant is hard to beat. The service, a major part of the experience coreographed with finesse. The enthusiam of the wait-staff is fantastic.

The optional wine paring gives guests the opportunity to not only taste great wines but to also learn about the regions they come from.

This restaurant is a "must visit" for anyone coming to Ithaca

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