Walking in to Peppino’s reminded me a little bit of the bar in Cheers – where everybody knows your name. Except, nobody knew my name, nor did I expect them to. However, the two things I did hope for were good food and decent service.
Although it was early for dinner with it only being about 5:30 in the evening, the place was at least half full with older folks. My daughter and I looked to be the youngest patrons there. We were seated promptly and our order was taken quickly enough. I appreciated that the waitress made me aware that there was an upcharge for requesting the whole-wheat crust on our pizza. However, it would have been good to know that the baby size pizza was also available for dinner even though it wasn’t noted on the menu. I only figured this out afterward when I was looking through the paper take-out menu and would have ordered a little differently had I been aware of this.
What we ordered:
– A small margherita pizza, whole-wheat crust
– Dinner portion of lasagna
One thing I found to be odd was how long it took to receive bread while we waited for our dinner to arrive. We hadn’t walked in behind a large crowd where you would think that they might somehow be out of freshly-baked bread. It was quite the opposite, in fact. It seemed more like the early-bird dinner crowd was finishing up. But still, it took nearly 15 minutes for fresh bread to arrive which I had given up on by then. Our waitress then stopped by to ask if we wanted the pizza to be brought out before the lasagna if it was ready earlier. I emphatically agreed to this. By then we were quite hungry and we had a full evening ahead of us. The pizza was brought out soon afterward and to my delight, the lasagna was brought out about two minutes after the pizza.
Now, at this point in our meal, a family who seemed to be regulars had arrived and were seated at the large table right next to ours. The family seemed pleasant enough, but what was disappointing about their arrival was how sharply the level of service we received from this point forward declined. We were asked if wanted more bread and although we stated yes, more bread never came. My water was never refilled. When we were finished with our meal, it took over ten minutes to get anyone to bring us our tab. Service is such a HUGE part of the dining experience that it can really make or break a dining experience.
With regard to the food, the pizza was mediocre. With so many places in the NYC area that have GREAT pizza, I wouldn’t go out of my way to get pizza here again. That’s for sure. However, the lasagna was done well. At first, I was a little concerned that the sauce was a little on the watery side, but after tasting the lasagna, I do approve of how the flavors came together. None of the ingredients overpowered each other and the fresh basil really added a nice flavor to the dish. I was also told that this is the same sauce that’s used for the spaghetti so I would assume that spaghetti would also be good here.
Although I don’t live in Park Slope, I do come to this area often enough. Even then, I’m not sure I would make a point to come back to Peppino’s. The entire experience was lackluster at best with not being truly impressed with the pizza which is one of the main reasons why we stopped in and the mediocre service didn’t help either. There are a few other pizza joints and other restaurants in this area that I’ll be checking out at some point in the future. Hopefully, we’ll have a better experience at one of those places!