I've heard about this family-run Romanian restaurant for a long time and finally decided to give it a try. I called in for a reservation specifying I had a Groupon and was told that they were fully booked for the next 5 days. I found that a bit hard to believe, but agreed on a reservation on a Tuesday night 5 days away.
Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by the host who led us to a table with a reserved sign. Seeing how the place was relatively empty, I found it even more odd that I wasn't able to get a reservation earlier. As we placed our orders, the host attempted to put up a plastic smile, but his displeasure was apparent when we didn't order any wine or drinks.
My mom and I both wanted the starter size cabbage rolls, but our host of the evening told us we had to order 2 entrees because we were using a Groupon. This was not specified anywhere in the fine print, but it didn't make too big of a difference and we didn't feel like arguing, so I settled for the entree cabbage rolls and polenta ($17.95). The cabbage rolls tasted alright, but I thought the cabbage wrap was too thin and not enough to balance out the large chunk of meat inside. I never liked polenta and this one was particularly weird with a grainy and mushy texture like scrambled eggs that had been ground up and made into a pancake.
The starter size cabbage rolls ($12) were served with crostini instead of polenta. The number of cabbage rolls was the same as the entree, so the starter was much better value.
My dad went for the beef goulash stew ($18.95) which was average at best. It was no different from a typical home-cooked beef and tomato stew. In fact, it was probably worse because the beef was not tender at all and the stew lacked flavour. I wondered how something like this could cost close to $20.
The bill came with a small treat for each of us, a sweet piece of milk chocolate that rounded out the meal quite well.
Near the end of our meal, we saw 2 girls walk in with a Groupon and the host tried to turn them away saying the restaurant was fully booked. I looked around and the place was almost completely empty and none of the tables had reserved signs on them. In the end, the host went over to check his reservations book and finally agreed to give the girls a table because "someone had just cancelled". At this point, I knew the restaurant simply wanted to save most or all of the tables for customers without Groupons. What a ridiculous mentality! Add that to the mediocre food at near fine dining prices, I don't think I'll be coming back again.