Pretention and Prices Run High, Flavors and Service Do Not
My partner and I were informed that Tip Top was doing brunch. Arriving at a quarter after 10am we found it was not open. Deciding not to wait we ventured next door to Due Amici, greeted by an enticing menu and open doors. We were the first to arrive, and were told that cocktails were available, however the kitchen would not open until 11am. Enjoying our pick of the floor we sat down and enjoyed some coffee, remiss of the dark roast from Cup 0' Joe (one of my favorites in town). Another two couples arrived and we were all asked for our orders so they would be ready as soon as the kitchen opened.
As we waited for our food the highlight of the morning, the Cocktail Cart, came by to make us fresh, made to order Bloody Mary's. Both my husband and I got exactly what we wanted. Indeed, it was the best Bloody Mary I ever had. Not to mention the wonderful demeanor of our mobile bartender; she was cheerful and patient with us as we decided exactly how we wanted our morning libations prepared.
This is where it started to go downhill. Our food, after having been the first to order (much less the first in the restaurant) was the third to arrive. I had ordered the smoked salmon, presented on an English muffin and topped with what was supposed to be fresh capers and mascarpone cheese, accompanied by their Insalata Mista (fresh greens, goat cheese, almonds and fresh berries). Oddly enough the mistake with the capers turned out to be the most tasty part of the meal. Instead of the fresh capers I received the pan fried capers that another menu item called for. The extreme saltiness was mellowed while a deliciously nutty flavor revealed itself via the frying. As for the rest: the salmon was of mediocre quality and quantity (try Einstein Bros. Bagels for the way lox should be done), the mascarpone cheese was virtually nonexistent, the greens were NOT fresh (spotty, at best), and the mixed berries turned out to be three small slices of very old strawberry, whose flavor and color had just started to turn. Did I mention the English muffin was cold and stale?
My husband had ordered the Asparagus and Mushroom
Frittata which claimed to contain Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese. With a generous helping of diced home fries (cut to small to effectively consume with a fork, use your spoon or a knife covered in ketchup instead) and another cold English muffin one would think you can't go wrong. Well, my first clue wash the garnishment; the same old strawberry that accompanied my Insalata Mista. The potatoes we tasty, despite their defiance to being eaten. The frittata, while warm, was thin and overcooked. While enduring the heat the oven (I can only assume the cook forgot about it) the baked omelet had lost much of its flavor. Again, cheese was nowhere to be found except in scant corners of the frittata (can you tell I like my cheese?).
We had purchased the two brunch items and two cocktail items for $30 as a special. I ate less than half of my brunch and it was removed from our bill at $8. When we received our bill we were surprised to find our two coffees (which were admittedly kept full during our stay) totaled over $6. I'd much rather go to Cup O' Joe and spend less in a much more friendly environment. Now, I have no problem spending extra money for good food when its worth it, however this just wasn't. Next time we'll just wait for Tip Top, or go where we normally go, have never been disappointed, and spend half the money for twice as much food, German Village Cafe.