We've dined at Vanessie several times now & for the most part, we are always very happy with the food Last night we were frustrated by the service. Both the bar area and main restaurant were almost empty when we arrived. The back room was being used for a party of perhaps 20-25 people.
The woman who greeted us, though concerned about making my 83 yr old mother comfortable, spoke so quietly it was nearly impossible to understand her. She seemed confused about where to put us though we had a reservation and the room was almost empty. Another woman indicated we should sit where we'd like. We were given menus and it then took 15 minutes before we were acknowledged again. A waiter came and took a drink order, then disappeared. More time passed and a different waiter came to take our drink order. We explained it had been taken, but that we would love to order. Our drinks finally arrived shortly after that. We then sat there for about another 1/2 hour before finally getting the attention of the hostess and asking for bread. Our appetizers, however, arrived shortly after that-- and before the bread. The chips w/3 sauces got mixed reviews. The chips appear to be homemade. The guacamole was excellent and the salsa was good. The chile con queso looked and tasted like it came out of a jar.
Main courses included the always excellent lamb chops and roasted chicken. The baked potatoes were perfectly prepared, the spinach- usually delicious- was unseasoned and overcooked. We ended the meal with delicious cream brulee. While our waiter was helpful and professional, he was stretched too thin. With a large party in the back room, management should have had more help. We were there 2 hours and 15 minutes. Most of that time was spent waiting.
I really do need to mention that if anyone in your party has trouble with stairs, Vanessie may not be the spot for you. To enter the restaurant, you need to get up several cement stairs-- not an easy feat for my 83 year old mother.