Enoteca at I Trulli, Mar. 4, 2005

Enoteca at I Trulli
122 E. 27th St.

So after dinner at Eleven Madison Park, I decided to stop by I Trulli Enoteca for a glass of wine before heading to an empty home - with Danna still in Orlando. I sit down at one of the two empty barstools next to a woman who seemed to be enjoying her wine and looking for someone to talk to -- as the bar was filled with younger couples on 2nd or 3rd dates or recently married. I sit down and right away am greeted by this woman to my right, Deb. Deb is remarkably funny, has an infectious laugh but gets on the nerves of the bartender and I can imagine that I was a relief to the others in the bar as a "blocker". I was happy to be that person. She was good company with endless stories about wine.

Now, my track record at I Trulli has been mediocre at best. I am never fully satisfied with their food and never at all satisfied with their service. What was I doing there? Giving it a fifth chance I suppose. Well, tonight was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I will never return to this restaurant or any of its sibling outlets. The bartender was so rude and unfriendly and genuinely unprofessional that it hurt me to stay through my flight of wines. I explained to him that I didn't need a series of very big wines, just a step below. Here is what I got for $13.00:

1) Montepulciano D'Abruzzo Vigna Le Coste 2000, Comachia/Abruzzi
2) Lacrima di Morro D'Alba 2003, Stefano Mancinelli/March
3) Salice Selentino Cantalupi 2001, Cont. Zecca/Puglia

The first one, Montepulciano D'Abruzzo...tasted okay but it smelled like Muenster cheese. But really old muenster cheese. It was horrible. Absolutely foul for a wine. How can anyone like this?

The second, Lacrima di Morro D'Alba...was okay. A bit bigger than the other two but really just an average wine. Nothing I would ever order again.

The last (thank god) was the Salice Salentino Riserva, Agricole Valone. It was so awful tasting - like 2 week old compost - that I had no choice but to ask for something else. Anything else. In return he gave me the Salice Salentino Cantalupi 2001, Cont. Zecca/Puglia. Still barely drinkable. Just not what works for my palate.

Its still kind of early, my food buzz was diminished by bad wines so I say I'll take a glass of one of your best, big wines by the glass. So what does the numbskull bartender do...he pours me a glass of the second wine I tried, the Lacrima. I taste it, recognize it, and say to him "Are you kidding me? I've already had this." His response was a mumbled "Well I thought you'd like another glass of this" - and he kind of moved away from the bar. Unbelievable. That was it. I said I won't drink this, get my bill for the flight of wines, said goodbye to Deb, thanked her for a good conversation and left, hopefully to never have to return to that awful bar again.

Now I suppose I shouldn't be surprised because the wine shop across the street that they own is run by one of the most miserable cast of characters I've ever witnessed working in a wine shop. You work in a wine shop...what is there to be unhappy about. My dream is to own a wine shop, yet these meatballs don't even greet customers (even if you are the only one in the store) when they walk in. Utterly despicable. Please do not patronize these businesses...for your own sake.


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