We were near the Columbus Circle area just shopping and walking around. Generally, this area doesn’t have too many great places to eat, and we couldn’t decide what we were in the mood for. I had proposed the thought of Serafina since I’ve never been there and my partner had a fantastic experience back in their home country. We were able to walk in without reservations during the core hours of dinner.
The interior feels strange and a bit out of place. There are a lot of tables inside, and it’s loud and feels like it’s a restaurant that would be trendy in a suburbia town. There is a slew of red lights poorly placed all over. In the back of the restaurant, they have a brick oven. I’m guessing this is to show how fresh their pizza is.
When we walked in, the front hostess was getting scolded by the manager for apparently putting a previous party in a not-so-great spot. Well, we were just a party of 2, so what’s the worst that could happen? She placed up at a table where my seat was literally in the path of servers and diners as they walk through the restaurant. There was literally no space for people to comfortably walk through. My patience was very annoyed because my seat was getting bumped almost every 30 seconds. I looked around, and I saw that there were several empty tables that were out of foot traffic. It baffled me that they would put us here, so I requested a table change due to the foot traffic. Some of the wait staff were confused why it would bother me, but I didn’t really have the patience to explain.
They offered us 2 tables, either one that’s directly under red lights or another in a little cubby hole squished between a large booth and a small table. We chose the one not under the red lights, but it had already made me feel this restaurant had no sense of effective table positioning. I’ve already had enough patience, and I just wanted to eat so I put up with it. Luckily the server was accommodating and sensed how frustrated I was with the initial seating arrangements.
The food service itself was suspiciously fast. Literally, the food took about 5-10 minutes after we ordered to come out. More on that later.
The Chianti Riserva red wine ($15 - left) came from DOCG Tenuta II Palazzo, Toscana. This did not taste great, as it was fairly watery with not a enough body or flavor.
The Serafina Champagne Cocktail ($18 - right) came with vodka, elderflower liquor, raspberry, and topped with DOCG prosecco. Something was not right with this cocktail. There was a lot of liquor clashing and wasn’t smooth.
The complimentary bread was served room temperature, and it didn’t have anything special about it.
The Lasagna Al Forno ($24) came with their homemade meat sauce. The homemade meat sauce really tasted like canned meat sauce, where it looked like it was just dug out of the ground after meddling in aged dirt. On the flip side, it did remind me of lasagna served out of frozen meals. The lasagna tasted like it had been previously frozen and had already been baking in the oven for quite some time. It was served within 5 minutes of ordering, and it was lukewarm. Definitely skip lasagna here if you are craving it here.
The Filet Mignon Alla Griglia ($39) came with a 7 oz. free range, gras fed grilled filet mignon and was served with grilled vegetables and rosemary salted potatoes. This was fairly no-frills and nothing special. Arguably, the best part of this plate was the meat quality and the sides they served. The grilled vegetables tasted decently, and the potatoes were seasoned appropriately.
The filet mignon was ordered medium rare, and it came out pretty much rare if not blue. Fortunately the steak quality was good, so we could finish eating the steak. But the fact that they couldn’t cook a medium rare filet mignon is disappointing. The seasoning on the steak was abysmal, but they gave some wine reduction sauce on the side to dip.
The Profiteroles ($14) came with cream puffs filled with short chantilly cream covered with dark chocolate. These were abysmal in that the cream puff crust was overcooked and had something off with the texture. Fortunately, the chantilly cream and dark chocolate were acceptable.
If all the other Serafinas are like this location’s food, definitely avoid this chain and go to any of the regular trattorias in the city. The food here is poorly priced and tasted really poor. The silver lining in all of this is now I know that I will not be visiting Serafina again.
The place has an ambiance of finesse and a broad menu that is sure to satisfy almost all. I only had one drink myself, but was told by the other 4 members of my party that the food was outstanding!
This Elitist should find new food friends who actually have some taste buds.
The Spaghetti does not come w meatballs, we added 2 not bad the Eggplant Parmesan was good as well.
This is pretty comical. The spaghetti dishes here definitely do not come with meatballs, but that is also because they literally don’t say “spaghetti and meatballs” on the menu. With that being said, I’ve noticed the Elitists that have given this restaurant good ratings are people like this who are likely comparing it to Italian American stereotypical food. I would argue that you should just go to the other Italian American restaurants like Tony’s Di Napoli instead.
- Oct 29, 2022 - Initial revision.