HENRY CUTLER ’17
Just two weeks ago, Christopher Capozziello was published in the New York Times and commented on a restaurant that almost everyone at Trinity knows by heart: Trinity Restaurant. Capozziello’s cheerful review was posted in The New York Times on Sunday, September 27th, 2015, indicating that he was very pleased with the small restaurant on Zion Street and would certainly recommend it to others. I, on the other hand, have a harder time doing so.
There was a time when I used to frequent Trinity Restaurant. I went for every occasion I could—birthdays, reunions, anniversaries, and Friday nights.
Don’t get me wrong; there are many perks. It has a large menu with popular fare and an ambiance far more refreshing than Mather. It has a “BYOB” policy (a big attraction for underclassmen). It is a very walkable distance from campus, and it has enough room to seat your closest friends.
Although I once enjoyed the convenience and taste of Trinity Restaurant, my opinion of it has been steadily declining over the course of my time at Trinity College. I have to disagree with Capozziello because of the many factors that I have both seen and personally encountered while dining there more than just one time.
Let me start off by saying that the customer service and attention is atrocious. My party and I have walked into the restaurant before without being greeted or seated by any staff. I shrugged that off – some restaurants prefer you to seat yourself, and that is perfectly fine. However, there is no excuse for the amount of time that it took for us to receive menus. After fifteen minutes, we had to get up and seek the menus ourselves.
Secondly, the staff and apparent policies of Trinity Restaurant deprived us of one of life’s three human necessities: water. A breadbasket would have been nice, too, seeing as it is advertised as an Italian-Mediterranean eatery, and not having bread at an Italian dinner is blasphemous. After requesting both of these common commodities, the waitress brought them over, and then neglected to give us even one refill without us first asking.
The last time that I visited, it was my friend’s birthday dinner. We waited one and a half hours to get our food and another hour to get our bill. Not only does Trinity Restaurant not allow you to share your entrée with someone else, they also have a habit of overcharging.
At first, they could not and would not split the check. Then, after another thirty minutes, they gave us each checks totaling $200 of overcharge. When we went to correct the bill, management refused to speak with us and did not let us leave until we had paid the extra charges. Being so close to a college, the management should have taken more care not to overcharge and upset the lifeblood of its customer base.
Now, I do not like to only reminisce about my bad memories at Trinity Restaurant. I just have a hard time tolerating the way that I was served there from time to time. I may be overreacting. I know that they are often busy and have a lot to take care of, and I understand that.
Although I cannot see myself going out to eat there again, there are some good things that I can say about it. On the whole, however, I would caution the students at Trinity College, and their families and friends, from dining there. It took a while for me to realize how unsatisfactory and difficult the dining experience was, and this is a common problem. Trinity Restaurant is so close, so comfortable, and so convenient that we seem to have developed an immunity to a flat-out bad restaurant.
I suppose a larger generalization could be made from my experience. Trinity Restaurant actually serves as a metaphor, and an important one at that. Until the situation was horrible enough, I didn’t really care about the service, or lack thereof. Don’t let yourself fall into the same trap of accepting something that is stale or overdone; keep your eyes open, stay aware, and question your surroundings.
Whether it is a favorite eatery or a club on campus, a job you’ve had forever or an old pair of shoes, it pays to step back every so often and think about whether it might be time to evaluate, upgrade, and find something that better fits your needs.
I will always remember the laughs and the cheers that my friends and I have shared over the years. My first time at Trinity Restaurant, I was getting to know my advisor and all of the classmates in my first year seminar. I was just so excited to be at college and enjoying the new freedoms associated with living on my own. I didn’t mind slow service, because it meant more time with the new friends beside me.
In the end, it is a super close walk and I do enjoy their margherita pizza and deliciously soft rolls. Capozziello might think that visiting is worth the while, but I advise potential patrons to carefully consider before deciding on Trinity Restaurant, or anything else for that matter.
HENRY CUTLER ’17