We recently visited Nizza la Bella for the first time in quite some time. It was one of our semi-regular favorites, and now we don’t know when we’ll be returning.
One green salad (basically, the green mix you see everywhere, with some vinaigrette - an insult at $9)
One burger/fries (done per request to medium rare, but not juicy at all somehow, and not nearly the satisfying feeling of before).
One pizza (crust on the bottom seemed proper but the crust just “wasn’t the same.”)
One bottle of wine (I believe the cheapest red on the menu) The wine was $34 and was a retail of $8 or so.
$91, before the tip.
Service was scattered, although server was nice. We didn’t recognize a single employee from times past. When I paid, we looked at each other and said “this dinner was a hundred and something with a tip? It wasn’t worth it.”
Place was packed, which I was glad to see. We also have been discussing if pricing like this is the “new normal” which if the food is great, is fine. Actually, the pizza and burger prices, for what they are (and it wouldn’t have taken much for those two items to be at the top of their game, perhaps oven temp was off, etc.) were fine. But nearly 4x retail markup on wine, to be served in industrial glassware, $9 for that salad … and corkage is now $22, which just seemed really high for this place (it was always relatively high there, but $22 is a new high, and with industrial stemware, not right).
So on the one hand, we felt totally unsatisfied and felt no value for our meal. On the other hand, operating costs, including quality ingredients, for even moderate dining are through the roof. On the other other hand, our dinner was just ok, even at any price. On the other other other hand, it isn’t worth it for places to stay open if they can’t make a living. I’ve been expecting real restaurant inflation for some time, and it is finally happening.
For recent comparison’s sake, we finally tried Kronnerburger (and our burger dinner for 2 was pretty steep before we were done) but we felt good when we left, and will gladly return.
Thoughts specifically about the meal reviewed, and the other more general comments welcomed.