Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

We just came home from our first visit to Vasili’s Take Five restaurant on Willy Street. The good news is, the food is so good, we can’t wait to go back and try out the rest of the food on the menu. The bad news is, if the service doesn’t improve, our next visit will probably be our last, so we’d better pick something we really want to try.

When we sat down at Vasili’s, there were only six people in the dining room, counting us. One guy came out to welcome us, drop off a couple of menus, take our orders and bring our drinks. No problem.

While we were dining, though, the tables quickly filled up. In the space of about thirty minutes, that one guy had to find a way to take care of fifteen or twenty hungry diners, and frankly he was having a bit of a problem doing it. I’ll give him this: He was never idle, always hustling back and forth, his arms loaded up with plates piled with yummy food, and as far as I could tell he didn’t pop a sweat. I would’ve been wet and limp as a dishrag in that short half-hour.

I ordered the evening’s special, lamb pork served on a bed of rice pilaf with grilled vegetables. I was thinking gyro when I went in, but when the waiter told me what the special was I thought, Hell, I can have a gyro any night of the week, but that sounds fabulous! And it was! The lamb pork was just fatty enough that it very nearly had way too much flavor, but not so fatty that I wanted to trim it, and it was grilled to perfection, nice and tender. I’m not ordinarily a fan of grilled veggies, but I have to say I really liked the combination they put together for this dish. I recall tomatoes, onions, basil, and maybe peppers, all just crunchy enough to remind me that I was eating fresh veggies. The tomatoes! Oh my goodness, the tomatoes were like slurping up the best home made spaghetti sauce my Italian grandmother ever made for me, if I’d had an Italian grandmother. I would go back just for that.

I had to get up from the table about halfway through my meal, and just after I came back, the waiter stopped by to flip the check at us. I hate to tell anyone how to run their restaurant, but customarily I thought you waited until the customer was finished with his meal before you brought the check, and then only after you asked if he would like anything else. I was sort of looking forward to dessert, but I never got the chance to ask. My Darling B finished her glass of wine while waiting for her entrĂ©e and would’ve ordered another, if the waiter had asked. Speaking of which, the drinks were apparently free tonight. They weren’t on the check, anyway. B added ten bucks for my beer and her glass of very tasty tempranillo. I hope that was enough. I was going to ask, but the waiter didn’t stop moving long enough.

And I think it’s only fair to point out that it’s our policy to start knocking a percentage point or two off our usual twenty percent tip for every five minutes that a water glass stands empty on our table. We’ll let a waiter get away with a lot in the way of bad service, but any waiter worth twenty percent should be able to keep two water glasses full through an entire meal. B’s water glass was empty for almost ten minutes when we finally packed up and left.

I hate to dis what looks to be a labor of love and is so obviously a very promising operation. The food really was very delicious, I wasn’t exaggerating one tiny particle about that, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anybody I know who loves Mediterranean fare, but I’d caution them ahead of time about the service so they knew what they were getting into.

Vasili’s | 8:55 pm CDT
Category: food & drink, My Darling B, O'Folks, play, restaurants | Tags: ,
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