What Just Happened Here?.
I have known about Neruda for many years and every now and then I decided to give it another chance. I remember when it first opened up there was a Buffet, I believe it was GREEK, but they only had a bunch of BORING food, mainly Salads all similar to Tabouli and such... I was severely disappointed and hungry still. I tried it again some time later and found it average, but with very high prices.
Flash forward several years, to last Thursday. My GF and I decide to see what's up and drive up. We got there about 630PM to a dimly lit and mostly empty restaurant. The greeter said that we would have to wait at least 10 minutes for a table. When I asked her why that was, as the place was empty, her face went blank... she then told me we could wait in the bar until our table was ready. We went into the bar and found that the drinks were about twice the price of most restaurants that we go to. A glass of Chardonnay selling from $6-12, the latter being the price of a good bottle. There were no prices for bottles. We checked the menu and saw that there were no entrees under $23 and decided to leave. I think this place is for people who don't care if they spend too much or want to show off for a date or some prospective business client... I don't mind paying a fair price, but I feel this place gouges and I don't respect that, ever! I also feel that most of the positive revues on here are from the restaurant stuffing the ballot box! If it sounds like a commercial, it probably is! I'm still not sure why it would take them 10 minutes to seat us...
Took us by surprise. My wife and I had seen Neruda in magazine ads and along the road in Edwardsville and decided to drop in one day. We were dressed very casually, while the restaurant is nicer than we were prepared for. The staff, however, treated us no differently than the best-dressed patrons in the place. The food was excellent -- I had a pepper crusted tuna steak that was cooked perfectly, and my wife had a pasta dish overflowing with cheesy flavor and whole roasted garlic cloves that melted in my mouth. More expensive than your average restaurant, so it's not for causal dining, but the price was an excellent value considering the quality of the food. We will definitely go back when we have the time.
Great. I've been going to Neruda since they opened and have never been dissapointed.
Torn.... I've been to this restaurant several times -- it has long been a favorite of mine for formal dates and events. The food is exceptionally prepared and presented, and is never disappointing. The service and ambience, however... this varies. On some nights, the mood is romantic and sultry, and the servers are perfect. However, on several occasions, I have noticed a tendency for loud/drunk diners and poor service that is bad enough to cause me to leave without dining. This is a result of customers who are primarily there for an evening drink or large gathering being seated in the dining room. I am torn, because I do so love this restaurant. However, I have found myself to be very uncomfortable on occasions, due to the loud and rude nature of surrounding guests.
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