1608 South St, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1914639.943948 -75.169140
Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm; Sun 4pm-9pm
Neighborhoods: Rittenhouse Square, Center City
WORST EXPERIENCE EVER!! – Absolutely, unequivocally the worst dining experience of my life. Seriously, everything was wrong from the start. They screwed up our reservation and, even when our party graciously agreed to come at a different time, the wait staff was rude and inattentive from the moment we walked into the restaurant. It took us 45 minutes just to get a dinner order in-- and this is *not* a big place. The food, when it arrived, was fine but nothing to write home about-- that is to say, the entrees that *didn't* arrive at our table either cold or grossly undercooked. At best, I've had much better Moroccan (for a much lower price tag). At worst, it was inedible. The kicker was, when we tried to complain to the chef we got *screamed at.* No, I'm not kidding, he literally yelled at us and told us to pay up and get out!! Sadly, having read a couple of other online reviews, I'm guessing this is just normal behavior for him. The bottom line: DO NOT EAT HERE!! Awful experience, worth neither the price nor the inconvenience/annoyance.
Crazy. Just crazy. – I had the worst dining experience of my life last night at Novita Bistro. A group of us were celebrating a friend's birthday and had made a reservation for 8pm. They called us yesterday to confirm the reservation, and we missed the call. When we called back a few hours later upon receiving the message, the reservation had abruptly been cancelled. We were rescheduled for 9pm.
We arrived at 9 waited outside until around 9:30 to be seated. The waitress came by and asked if we would like her to open all of the wine we had brought (we had several bottles of both red and white with us). I said yes, she opened one bottle and promptly walked away not to be seen again until 10.
At 10, the birthday girl flagged down the waitress and asked to speak with the manager. We were told he was in the kitchen and wasn't available, but she sent over another member of the waitstaff to take our orders.
Things started to look up at this point, maybe because the rest of our wine was finally opened so we could all have a drink. This waiter was friendly and our appetizers were delicious. We received our entrees, which ranged from incredible (my chicken tagine) to gross (my partner's lukewarm and dry merguez).
My partner alerted the waitress that her meat was cold and she took it back to warm up. After about 20 minutes, it still hadn't been brought back out. A plate of it had passed by our table on the way to someone else, though. My partner ended up eating half of my chicken and by the time her meal was finally sent back out the rest of the table was done eating. At that point, we told them to forget about the merguez. The waitress was clearly irritated that we no longer wanted the entree and insisted we box it up and take it home. At no point was any apology offered.
When we got the bill, we were surprised to see that we had been charged for the merguez and we were not exactly thrilled about paying the automatic 20% gratuity that had been added, so the birthday girl asked once again to speak with the manager (who turned out to be the chef as well). This time he came out of the kitchen. She attempted to explain to him what had happened with the merguez entree and ask if it could betaken off the bill, but he was having none of it. He would not listen and lashed a verbal tirade of belittling insults her way. She did not back down, though, and this seemed to really irritate him. He continued to yell and scream at the whole table and refused to even discuss taking anything off the bill or recalculating the gratuity. It got so bad that the birthday girl announced that if he would not listen and be reasonable, we were leaving. At this point, he became truly irate and locked us in the restaurant and called the police.
While we waited for the police to come settle the ridiculous dispute, an air of "I can't believe this is actually happening!" settled over our party. The manager was standing in front of the door, lest we attempt to unlock it, and encouraging the two other tables locked inside with us to heckle us. The root of his irritation seemed to be that we had sent back food, because he went around the restaurant asking anyone else if their food was cold and mocking us when they said no. The waitress was also joining in the fun, refusing to speak with us about adjusting the bill making rude comments. I began to wonder if we were being Punked or something.
Finally, the police came and we were able to pay a reasonable portion of the bill and leave. Once the cops were there, the manager/chef was finally forced to listen to what we actually wanted to remove (only the merguez entree and 10% of the gratuity) and they enticed him to agree that this was reasonable. We paid up and the police told us we were free to go.
Needless to say, although much of the food was great, I will never be going back to Novita. Yikes!
No in Novita means NO! – I recently frequented this abomination of a restaurant. The food was so-so, the portion was inadequate - and the worst part of it was the service. This place was overpriced to begin with, especially for the food served and the ONLY reason we went there was because we had a coupon from restaurantcom. Note to the owners: if you are trying to drum up business, by being part of restaurantcom, then you need to actually acknowledge that this coupon exists and will be used. After our less than desirable meal, we wanted to use the coupon except we were told that we couldn't on the weekend. There was NO indication of this on the coupon. Then the owner comes to tell us that even if we could use it on the weekend, there is a minimum of a $35 limit per person, which again was NOT on the coupon. And then it got ridiculous. Instead of discussing this maturely, the owner has the audacity to tell us to call restaurantcom and takes the coupon and rips it up and tells us to get out of the restaurant.
I've worked in the hospitality industry off and on for many years and I have NEVER been so appalled by this treatment. The food was mediocre at best, the treatment was disgusting, the lack of respect and indecent behavior was truly just as bad as the food.
I warn anyone to frequent this place, for the food, and the horrible customer service. There are so many great restaurants in Philadelphia, I recommend you going to any one of them, other than Novita. There's a reason the first two letters in the restaurant's name is NO.
Cozy Italian BYOB in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood. – Cozy Italian BYOB in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood gets a unique dash of flavor with Moroccan dishes and influences. We dare say it would be hard to find another place in the city where the table can order hangar steak, Moroccan chicken tagine and homemade gnocchi. That’s what you get when a Moroccan chef trained in Italy opens a homey and contemporary BYOB in out-of-the-way Graduate Hospital. With its exposed brick, cloth napkins and long-stemmed wine glasses lying in wait, this 40-seater provides a semi-romantic dining room for those who like to combine their Mediterranean flavors. And if the first date conversation lags, there’s always the activity in the open kitchen to talk about.
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