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“Great food, Great Martinis, Great Patio... HORRIBLE service”

Cecelia's Ristorante
Ranked #175 of 1,052 Restaurants in Buffalo
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Buffalo, New York
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great food, Great Martinis, Great Patio... HORRIBLE service”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We sat and watched our servers on the patio serve people to the point of being obnoxiously drunk. The servers were more concerned about wracking up people's alcohol bills than they were about people who were actually enjoying the wonderful food. In the past we have also dealt with snarky hostesses who seem to seat their little Buff State friends over people who have been waiting. It's a shame about the service, because honestly the food and drinks are pretty good, and the patio is very nice. Sadly, it is no longer a "first choice" restaurant because of the poor service and drunkards out on the patio.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank BfloGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A little Gem!!!”
Reviewed July 10, 2013 via mobile

We landed here for lunch.... We were able to sit out on the patio which was great. The food was excellent and not overpriced. Best calamari! Very light and not overlooked. The waitress was friendly. Definitely a place to go too. They also specialize in Martinis.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank julesvoyage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Good food ok service”
Reviewed July 7, 2013 via mobile

I would like to start off by saying that Cecilia's is kind of one of my favorite spots. However, lately it hasn't been ! :(

I love Cecilia's for:
1. Their great martini's (especially on Mondays when they are half off)
2. Awesome patio and clam bar
3. Great brunch. It's small and simple which I think is perfect
4. Great bloody Mary's and probably the cheapest bottomless mimosas in the city
5. Good food and great dinner menu

The reason I have been disappointed lately is because of the service, I have been there many times and the service is very inconsistent. One day I will go there and have great service but other times I won't. There have been several occasions where we have sat outside in the patio just for drinks and the drinks took as long as the food did. I think the worst experience I've had at Cecilia's was a Sunday funday we where doing for my birthday where we went bar hoping on Elmwood. There were about 8 of us, some order simple bottled beers and others martini's and a pizza. We did not receive our drinks for at least 20 minutes after we had ordered them, and people were getting pissed. Some complained and cancelled their food order, but nothing was done and the food still came out after it was cancelled. So the group ended up spitting up, because no one wanted to wait another 20 minutes for more drinks! It was very upsetting, and I haven't been back since. There was another time previous to this that one of the servers even said that the outside bartender was very slow! There has also been many times where the bartenders inside have been very unprofessional and rude. I have been in the service industry for about ten years, so customer service is a big deal to me! I expect good to decent service (not great because that's hard to find) wherever I go. I think that wherever you go, doesn't matter how good or bad the food was, service is what makes your experience pleasurable and really what will make you return to that particular place. I really like Cecilia's and would always tell my friends to give it one more try after they told me they had a bad experience so I will probably give it one more try, but I am just over all disappointed and will probably never really recommend it to my customers or friends again :(

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Flavia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakfield, New York
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Great Food, Great Location”
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Visited Cecilia's for lunch today with my family. We were quickly seated outside (inside seating was available). Our server was excellent, ensure that we had every thing we needed. The food was superb. The only downside was that our order took a long time before it was served. That being said, it was definitely worth the wait. The lunch prices were excellent. I highly recommend that you visit Cecilia's when visiting the Elmwood Ave district.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Patrick W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“not impressed”
Reviewed July 1, 2013

This is a restaurant/martini bar. As out of towners, we did not know about the martini bar part. We had already wasted too much time trying to find a good eatery & so decided to stay and try the food.We happened to stumble into this place on their "half price Monday martini night". All we were interested in was a good Italian meal.
The bar area was slammed with customers having the martini special...by the way...only available in the bar area. It made the restaurant area very noisy. While waiting for our food, we felt that maybe we should try a martini, but alas, the Monday night special is not available to people dining. Very strange as the bar is connected to the restaurant by a chest high wall, making all of the activity at the bar "in your face" to people who came just to eat. About 75 people in the bar area that should hold maybe.....50. They opened the covered patio (it was rainy day). When we were leaving, we noticed the customers were having their martinis AND food
The food was poor to mediocre. Calamari was frozen, only the rings served. When our server was asked about the tenticles, he answered that they were thrown away. They come with a warm marinara sauce that was fresh and tasty. My husband ordered a pizza described with prosciutto and roasted red peppers. Tidbits of prosciutto and bottled pimentos is what he got on the pizza. Very little flavor. I ordered their feature dish of Cecelia's chicken marsala. The menu said it came with your choice of a side of spaghetti or whipped potatoes. I was not offered the choice; my dish came with the potatoes. I wanted the pasta. My server took my plate away instead of just bringing me a small side of pasta with sauce. When it arrived back, many minutes later, the potatoes were removed and the chicken was laid on top of a bed of pasta. The pasta had no sauce. I'm guessing I was to use the marsala sauce which amounted to less than a teaspoonful. I asked my server to bring me a small dish of the marinara sauce that we had with our calamari. The prosciutto on my chicken had crispy edges; implying to me that it had been left under the salamander for too long. Two delays waiting for my meal to be corrected left an unbalanced eating time for my husband and myself.
I asked for a glass of chianti. None was available, no reason given. No other choices of wine by the glass was offered. I thought maybe wine was not available in this martini bar, but through the course of our meal, I saw many glasses of red wine being served.
Our busboy at the end of our meal, asked how the meal was as a lot had been left on our plates. When our disappointment was expressed, he offered his apology an stated we should speak with the manager. No manager came by and I doubt if anyone was in charge there.
The martinis may be good here, I'll never know because as a diner, the martini special was not available...... but if you are looking for good Italian food, THIS IS NOT THE PLACE for you.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank wynterh8r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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