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Rough Night at Ruffino's

Posted on 8/18/10 at 11:48 am
Posted by Enadious
formerly B5Lurker City of Central
Member since Aug 2004
17687 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 11:48 am



Here is my review about the food and experience of my most recent visit (Saturday) to Ruffio's. The opinion of the food was not tainted by my experience; yes I am capable of separating the two.

We arrived about 5:30. The restaurant was cast in its usual darkness, of which I like. Even though it makes you wonder how clean it is.

We immediately were greeted by a cheerful female hostess who found it important for some reason to take my full name, even though I didn't have a reservation, nor needed one at 5:30 in the afternoon. My wife handled all of that exchange as she was closest to the hostess and I was standing a few steps behind her, letting my eyes adjust to the lower light. A male hostess (intended) was next to the female, and grabbed two menus and attempted to walk between the maître d station and my wife. He stood and waited for her to move out of his way, walked in front of her, and sashayed into one of the main dinning areas. He made no attempt to pull my wife's chair out, which I did, and invited us to enjoy ourselves.

The waitress was prompt, very cordial and quickly took our drink order. My wife is not a wine snob and asked if they had a house wine, she was told 'yes' without telling us what it was. So my wife asked if it was white or red, she said 'white'. My wife then asked what is it, and the waitress said the name of the wine (I don't remember). So my wife asked is it a chardonnay or pinot grigio or, and the waitress said it was a 'Chardonnay', so my wife ordered it. I ordered a vodka martini, dry, neat, olives, no juice. I'm not a vodka snob but when asked which brand, I ordered Goose. When I go to place like Ruffino's I expect them to charge me the same for Smirnoff as Goose.

A portion of baked bread was brought out, along with a butter/oil herb mixture. The bread was moist and course, very crunchy on the outside. The dipping sauce for the bread was grainy and very tasty. No complaints on my part, but I sure did make a crumby mess.

Our drinks arrived right away. The waitress was shaking my martini and asked, "What was it you ordered again, I can't ever remember what's in a martini. There's so many kinds." I repeated what I ordered, and she poured the shaker into my glass. I looked at my wife like, WTF, and then took a sip. It was better than I expected, so I thanked her and ordered the Seafood Arancine and we enjoyed our drinks.

The fire was blazing in the fireplace. I think it was about 99 degrees in the shade outside. People were fanning themselves with menus in the restaurant. I was okay.

A few feet from us was a table of ten that was about half full. A young mother arrived with two cute children. A little girl about three or four, and a little boy about one. The boy sat in the mother's lap and immediately picked up the flatware and proceeded to play 'wipeout' on the table. That wasn't too bad. And every now and then the mother told him to stop, of which he did for about a microsecond. Then he progressed to playing the drums on one of the saucers. My wife commented to me that he was going to grow up and be a drummer. At which I replied, "If I allow him to grow up." I shot evil eyes towards the table, I was unable to catch anyone's eye.

The noise lasted far longer than my patience, and I was prepared to ask the waitress to kindly remove us from the Chucky Cheese section. The mother finally removed the flatware from the kid which sent him into a crying spell. I found that more soothing than the drumming, so when the Seafood Arancine arrived, we ignored him and dug in. (We ordered the entree, two Fish Katies. I learned not to order their overpriced specials after the last three times I have eaten there.)

Two sauces were liberally spread on the plate with two large nicely fried balls on top in a nice presentation. We enjoyed the appetizer, but not like we have in the past. Even though it looked like it was fried long enough, the inside was a bit 'doughy', and didn't have the same taste appeal as the last couple of times we've ordered the dish. The sauces were as good as remembered. But we didn't finish it having the desire to try it again for a long time.

Two sensation salads arrived, nothing to complain about. A flavorful dressing with lots of leafy dark greens in the salad. Not the anemic crunchy stems you sometimes get.

My wife ordered another wine, I asked what Abita beers they offered. Our waitress kind of batted her eyes and mumbled something about not being able to remember all the beers. I found that a little unusual, seeing as she worked there, so I said bring me an Amber, you must at least have Abita Amber.

The Fish Katie arrived. Two large portions of fish filets, covered in a light colored Meuniere Sauce, and lump crabmeat. Looked great, served with roasted rosemary and garlic potatoes.

I had a nice piece of fish and plenty of crabmeat. But when I tasted it, it was surprisingly dull in flavor. I narrowed it down to the Meuniere Sauce, which left in my mouth the distinct tasted of old french fries. The roasted potatoes might have been fresh at lunchtime, on the day before. They were dry and rubbery. I didn't taste any rosemary, or any garlic, just an old greasy flavor.

The waitress arrived with my wife's wine, and as she poured my beer, I pointed out that the beer didn't really look like an Abita Amber to me. The Samuel Adams tag was pointing up for both of us to view. She said something like, I know, and then clarified it saying she noticed that as she was pouring it. She did return with an Abita Amber later.

My wife's fish wasn't quite as good in quality as mine was, having streaks of the gray fatty layer through out. Not a deal breaker as this happens on occasion. But she didn't find the entree any more appealing than I did.

Here's the rundown.

Two glasses of house Chardonnay $20, martini $11.95, Abita $4.75, Seafood Arancine $12.95, two Fish Katie $57.90. Totaled $117 with tax, my tip brought it up to $139.

I did not leave with $139 dollars worth of satisfaction. I was happy that I could afford to laugh that night out off. I do not plan a return trip soon.
This post was edited on 8/18/10 at 11:57 am
Posted by tigerdup07
Member since Dec 2007
21966 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:01 pm to
if you would have told the manager this instead of us, you may have had a comp'd meal.


Posted by slinger1317
Northshore
Member since Sep 2005
5779 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:05 pm to
You sound like a lot of fun to be around...
Posted by Enadious
formerly B5Lurker City of Central
Member since Aug 2004
17687 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:08 pm to
quote:

if you would have told the manager this instead of us, you may have had a comp'd meal.


Look, the meal wasn't bad enough for me to do that. It was mostly just disappointing. The entree is what really killed it for me.

And I am doing what I can to support Baton Rouge business. I have a good job and I need to spread my money around to my community.

I'm not trying to hurt Ruffino's, I want them to make as much money as they possibly can. But this is my honest review of that night. And right now, I have no desire to go back there.
Posted by Enadious
formerly B5Lurker City of Central
Member since Aug 2004
17687 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:09 pm to
quote:

You sound like a lot of fun to be around..


Don't worry, I won't invite you out to eat with me.
Posted by TigahRag
Sorting Out OT BS Since 2005
Member since May 2005
132775 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:18 pm to
i'll never understand why people insist on bringing young children to nice restaurants ..
Posted by PBeard
DC
Member since Oct 2007
5900 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:23 pm to
You went at 5:30. That may be your problem.
Posted by Woody
Member since Nov 2004
2452 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:24 pm to
This sounds just like all of the underwhelming experiences I've had at Ruffino's, which outnumber the good.
Posted by Enadious
formerly B5Lurker City of Central
Member since Aug 2004
17687 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:26 pm to
quote:

You went at 5:30. That may be your problem.


Why should that be a problem? The staff was there, about 8 waiters stood in the back room by the bar with nothing to do.

The cooks couldn't have been over burdened. We didn't eat our entree until after six.

Posted by Enadious
formerly B5Lurker City of Central
Member since Aug 2004
17687 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:26 pm to
quote:

This sounds just like all of the underwhelming experiences I've had at Ruffino's, which outnumber the good.


I agree, I had good meals and a good time there. It has been a long long time though.
Posted by Touchdown Jacob
East of the Rockies
Member since Jan 2004
269 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:27 pm to
quote:

We arrived about 5:30.
were you with Morty Seinfeld?
Posted by Pinche
BR
Member since Jun 2010
581 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:27 pm to
I like Ruffino's alot. Great place, nice atmosphere, great wine list, nice staff and great food, but I have had an occasional meal that was less than par or inconsistent. Like 1 out of every 7 visits. It usually coincides when Chef Peter is not there. Guy knows how to cook some food.
Posted by Enadious
formerly B5Lurker City of Central
Member since Aug 2004
17687 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:27 pm to
quote:

were you with Morty Seinfeld?


No, but I did have my tip calculator with me.
Posted by Python
Member since May 2008
6256 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:32 pm to
quote:

i'll never understand why people insist on bringing young children to nice restaurants ..


I thought he said he went to Ruffino's.
Posted by TigahRag
Sorting Out OT BS Since 2005
Member since May 2005
132775 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:37 pm to
quote:

I like Ruffino's alot. Great place, nice atmosphere, great wine list, nice staff and great food, but I have had an occasional meal that was less than par or inconsistent. Like 1 out of every 7 visits. It usually coincides when Chef Peter is not there. Guy knows how to cook some food.


you pretty much described my feelings about ruffino's verbatim .. every-once-in-awhile i will get an average meal there .. but i have always loved the atmosphere and service ... i took martini's tip a few years back and have sat at the wood burning oven bar and eaten pizza (not this summer, though) and drank beer .. not expensive at all, but still very good ...
Posted by TigahRag
Sorting Out OT BS Since 2005
Member since May 2005
132775 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:38 pm to
quote:

It seems to be the norm with Ruffino's lately


i have been wondering if we would start seeing some changes there with peter and ruffin completely in charge and no t.j. moran's pockets to fall back on ..
Posted by TigahRag
Sorting Out OT BS Since 2005
Member since May 2005
132775 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:39 pm to
:rimshot:
Posted by EliPorter
Member since Feb 2010
2001 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:44 pm to
quote:

He made no attempt to pull my wife's chair out


quote:

At which I replied, "If I allow him to grow up." I shot evil eyes towards the table, I was unable to catch anyone's eye.


quote:

so I said bring me an Amber, you must at least have Abita Amber.
quote:

I pointed out that the beer didn't really look like an Abita Amber to me. The Samuel Adams tag was pointing up for both of us to view.
quote:

I did not leave with $139 dollars worth of satisfaction. I was happy that I could afford to laugh that night out off.

You seem like the biggest douche restaurant snob that there could be.

Posted by Tigerpaw123
Louisiana
Member since Mar 2007
17248 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:48 pm to
quote:

You went at 5:30. That may be your problem.


Why would that be a problem?
Posted by notiger1997
Metairie
Member since May 2009
58031 posts
Posted on 8/18/10 at 12:49 pm to
I really hate the the service has to be so clueless and untrained at a place like this.

You listed the prices, and I don't see much of a problem with them, other than possibly a house chardonnay for $10 if it was not all that good of a wine.
Just sounds like an off night.
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