Friday, August 13, 2010

Devour Downtown 2010: Dunaway's Palazzo Ossigeno

For our second Devour Downtown foray for the summer 2010 season, my husband and I chose Dunaway's Palazzo Ossigeno.  It has one of the most expensive regular menus I've seen in Indy, so the $30 per person special event pricing made it more enticing. Unfortunately, I did not take my camera, so I don't have pictures for you, but I felt I had to write about this experience.


The rooftop on this place is fantastic, and while the inside has some charming spots, the building is starting to look worse for the wear. There are water stains, and buckling dry wall areas. I even noticed dust and accumulated spider webs on the walls. I have to admit, for a restaurant of this price range, I expected a little nicer. Granted, we were sitting on the second floor which seemed to be a little more "cafeteria-like" than other parts of the restaurant.


The service actually started out pretty well, but after about the third course, things started to go really weird. For one, the young lady that was serving us started complaining (loudly!) about the other patrons of the restaurant to the people in the booth next to us. She said something like, "It's like this is some people's first visit to a restaurant" and lots of other not-so-flattering things. I understand getting peeved off and having crappy experiences, but your job is to be a waitress. AND Dunaway's is supposed to be a nice place, you should not be dogging the restaurant guests to other tables! Bad, bad, bad. After that, she just seemed frazzled and distracted. It was very awkward.


I loved most of what I had (caprese salad, house salad, and goat cheese manicotti), but I didn't like the blueberry crisp. Interestingly, at the beginning of the evening, the waitress told us it was warm with a scoop of vanilla gelato on top. When we got it was room temperature, with a sea of melted white foamy stuff on top. When we asked the waitress what that was (even though I would bet my house it was melted vanilla gelato), she said, "Uhmmm, uh, that's, uh, creme anglais." I'm sorry, but I know what creme anglais looks like and tastes like and for a good cook, creme anglais in not the most difficult thing to make. That was NOT creme anglais. The chef even came out to ask us about it. I explained it tasted off. He said he was surprised cause everyone else raved about them. However, he sent out two pistachio creme brulees.  That was nice and they were awesome.

Another not so happy thing: The waitress asked if we wanted any coffee with our dessert, so I asked for a decaf coffee. It came with no spoon and no cream. When I asked for it, she said, with a look of near-despair on her face, "Yeah, but I'll have to go downstairs to get it." Okay. Fine. Go downstairs to get it. It did finally come, but I thought that was odd. At this point, I'm feeling more like I'm at some bad diner rather than a fine dining establishment.


Even with Devour Downtown pricing, we ended up paying $103 (including tip) for our dinner. Granted, I had a $12 cocktail and my husband had a $10 glass of wine. Based on the service, I wouldn't say this was reasonable at all.

Verdict: Never again. I actually attempted to go to Dunaway's for Devour Downtown last year as well. There were 6 of us and we treated poorly. It was as if they were humoring the Devour Downtown guests and didn't really care about them. I don't like giving scathing reviews, but Dunaway's deserves no better.

Dunaway's Palazzo Ossigeno on Urbanspoon

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