I consider myself to be a foodie, and trying new restaurants in new cities is my all time favorite thing to do. On this trip to Charlotte, I chose Aria. I called ahead to get information, only to find out that the person whom I talked to was giving me misinformation. Strike 1.
I arrived around 1pm for lunch and waited several minutes before anyone spoke to me. I noticed a manager sitting at the bar with other staff and they did not bother to ackowledge me as I stood there. Talk about engaging...RIGHT? I was sat at the bar where the manager was still sitting, and waited once again to be ackowledged. The restaurant was slow and there was only 1 other person sitting at the bar. Once I was ackowledge, the bartender was great! I really liked the staff who served me. On the other hand, a brief conversation with the manager explained the restaurants lack of polish and sterile atmosphere..
I ordered an "express lunch". I thought the concept, price, and presentation was really good, however, the low price reflected low quality. The ceasar dressing tasted bottled, the carbonara was ok, but wasn't traditional with peas, and the cheesecake was a sliver fresh out of a box, with a squirt bottle of strawberry syrup splattered on top. WHATEVER!
Around 1:45 I had finished, and sat to observe. Guests were leaving and no one was speaking to them as they left. No..."Thank You Come Back", "We Appreciate Your Business", or "Have a Great Day"!
I guess they were too cheap or too stupid to keep a hostess on the door for another 15-30 minutes...and why couldn't the manager break himself away from his lunch to speak with the guests? I don't get it or maybe it's Aria that doesn't get it! There are too many great restaurants in Charlotte...don't go here. Whatever formula they are using to manage their restaurant, it isn't working and I predict it will be closed within 2 years.
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