Cool environment. Have enjoyed many meals at Modesto. The Paella is great and the wine list at times unique. Our most recent visit though provided us with a server(MS) who was mechanical at best. It was akin to dropping off and order at a step up window and having the same delivered to your table a'la-Culvers. I expect more interaction but perhaps we do not fit the demographic the server wishes to interact with.
Won't go back. I had been to Modesto for the fifth, and final, time on Friday, October 23. I chose it for a get together with friends, as I have thoroughly enjoyed the first four trips. Apparently, my luck had run out. We had a reservation for 10 at 6. At 6:30 we were informed that we needed to speed it up as there was another reservation at 8 for that table. Not only did the bum's rush not set the right tone, we waited 40 minutes for things from the grill. No apology, just some excuse about how the "grill is backed up." Even if we wanted to eat quickly, it would not have been possible. And, my husband did not get his final entree. The waitress claimed she "just took it off of the table," after we asked. It is a shame when you spend two hours at dinner and still have to hit the White Castle because you didn't get any food. I won't return, and I'll tell everyone who asks to go to Barcelona in Clayton.
Just okay...we won't be back..
Pros and cons.
First, I'll tell you that this is my sister's favorite restaurant....not sure why, but she loves it. (She was with us too)
If you don't like Tapas, you won't like this. If you've never had Tapas-beware. It's not for everyone. We are okay with it, but we're not Tappas lovers. And, we've had MUCH better Tapas in other cities.
The location is good, atmosphere also quaint, no complaints. We were there with a party of 9, and didn't feel like we were in a crowded place where we couldn't enjoy ourselves. The nice concept of Tapas, is to sit, drink, talk, and "nosh" all night long trying different things.
The lighting fixtures hanging from the ceilings were a bit of a discussion topic...I'll leave them to your interpretation too.
The food, was just okay. -average Tapas. I'd say we ordered over 20 dishes that were of 10 or more varieties....i.e., we ordered 2 of each dish we tried. We also ordered 3 different Paellas (Traditional Spanish Rice Dishes). These were, and usually are our favorite. We had the vegetable, chicken, and the combination chicken/pork/sausage Paellas.
UNFORTUNATELY, what was probably the biggest detractor of our enjoyment, was our waiter. I read in other reviews that people have had similar trouble. Several times during the evening, our waiter made us feel uncomfortable, and awkward. You know those waiters that if you ask for more bread they make you feel like you're putting them out....well that was this guy. It was a shame, because just with the food being okay, we probably would have still enjoyed the company and the evening if he wasn't so rude. Honestly, because of him I was close to giving this a 2 star rating. Our final impression when we left was depressed, because we were sooooooooo close to unbelievable food everywhere around us in the Hill, and we (I) dropped over $300 only to be dissappointed. I would have enjoyed a sandwich at Adriana's better down the street.
Best Tapas. Amazing and varied selection of food and Spanish wine. Beautiful location in quaint neighborhood. Very pleased with the service and decor.
Won't be back.
I'll preface my critique by saying both that tapas aren't for everyone and by admitting that I likely fall into the group that gravitates towards larger servings. Still, I know food - know what tastes good and what doesn't regardless the amount on the plate. I'd never been to Modesto but thought it would be a nice change - went in with a totally open mind and even held a sincere hope that I'd enjoy the experience. I went on a Wed., arriving as they opened the doors at 5 PM. I wanted to try one of each type offering (i.e. cold tapas, hot tapas, soup, salad and a drink).
For the cold tapas I had the Plato de Quesos - 3 Spanish cheeses with walnuts, honey and grapes ($8.95). I can't say I'd again want to taste any of the cheeses offered - the walnuts had a couple bad ones in the group and the grapes were something akin to what you'd expect to find in the grocery store bin after everyone has picked over and taken the good ones. How could anyone so thoroughly screw up a chesse plate?
For the hot tapas I had the Almejas a la Marinera (steamed clams with Serrano ham, bacon, tomato, peppers and fino sherry ($9.95). I don't know if the chef got the order wrong or what but what I ended up with was a half dozen of the smallest clams I'd ever seen (slightly larger than a quarter. They were warm and covered in a third rate salsa - no ham - no bacon, peppers or sherry.
The soup: Caldo Verde (Portuguese sausage with greens and potatoes ($5.95). There were 2 small bits of sausage hidden in a mix of greens and mushy potatoes - all in a broth that tasted like someone had stewed onion and spinach together.
The salad: Ensalada Caesar - Ceasar salad with capers, Manchgo cheese and croutons ($5.95). The salad consisted of a half dozen green leaves sprinkled with capers, 1 gram of cheese and a drop of dressing. I started looking around to see if I was on a hidden camera show.
Drink: Sangria with 2 dwarf grape escapees from the cheese plate.
$40 + tip!
One bad nut. The Head Chef at this restaurant is a bully and a monster. If I was able to judge just the food and service I would be here to rave about Modesto, but that just isn't possible when you have to sit uncomfortably trying to ignore the boorish chef berating serving staff and loudly insulting the guests. We watched as she (?) fired our server in the middle of our meal. I can't say what he may have done to ignite her obviously flammable temper, but it was a repulsive experience that ruined the rest of the meal. For a $600 bill at the end of the night, I would like to think that my group might have walked out talking about the food or the atmosphere instead of how awkward and inappropriate the chef's behavior was. If you still think you need to try this place, sit in the bar where you are less likely to see or hear her brutish behavior and tip the staff well - they have to deal with her daily!
Great food, great price. Went there with a large group of people. Everyone ordered different dishes and passed around. Everything we tried, was absolutely delicious. The waiter was on top of things. Our water glasses never got too low. As we finished one delicious dish, another was delivered. Everyone had a wonderful time. Each small plate was around $6. For as much food as we all got to taste and for how good it was, it was well worth it. I would go back again for sure.
Our Reception--Outstanding. We had our reception here, and "highly recommended" does not begin to describe how happy we were with our experience. Grace, the chef, was wonderful with recommendations and the order in which the food was served. The bartender and the waitstaff were charming, helpful and efficient, and we had a number of comments from our friends claiming, "This is the best wedding food ever!" Between the smoked trout, the steak in the port wine reduction, and the tres leches cake, our guests were engaged in blissful gluttony for quite some time. Thank you so much, Modesto!
A Great First Tapas Experience. We ate here on 8/26/05 after seeing a review in the local weekly newspaper. The two of us had two cold plates and three hot ones, plus the bread and delicious tapenade which we were served when seated. We especially liked the fried cauliflower with paprika and truffle oil. (Sounds crazy, but was delicious.) We also were impressed with the creamy Moroccan rice with shrimp and mushrooms. The sangria (white) was good, but overpriced at $24 for a pitcher, which totalled about 3 1/2 glasses in all. The tapas are large enough for 3 or 4 to still have a taste of each dish. Total bill for 2, including 3 cold, 2 hot, plus one dessert and pitcher of Sangria, was $74 before tip. The waiter was attentive and knowledgeable and the service was relatively quick. We will return next visit to St. Louis!!
best food. A group of friends and I went to Modesto for the first time last night. The ambience of the restraunt was very warm and comfortable. The food was AMAZING. We all shared many of the tapas, and each one was wonderful. The sangria was good as well. The service was average, but overall it was a great night out. Highly recommended.
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