Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

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June 24th, 2010 · 10 Comments

Editor’s note: This post and all associated with restaurateur Leo Balestrieri have been removed from this site. The overwhelming number of negative comments that became personal, directed at and received from the restaurant owner, prompted this move.

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mark // Feb 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    DON’T GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DIDN’T

  • 2 Mark // Feb 12, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 3 Jan Norris // Feb 13, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I won’t edit opinions unless they become hateful or personal attacks, but I want to know what’s behind the comments. Just saying it’s the worst doesn’t tell us anything.
    What was your experience? And please don’t shout.

  • 4 Angela // Feb 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    This was our second visit to Apicius. The first was fine, good service good food. We were four and we ordered off the menu.
    Our second visit was a group of eight for a birthday celebration. Our initially gregarious manager/chef? suggested that as a large group we order “family style” and have the opportunity to enjoy the evening’s specials. No prices were offered before the dishes came rushing out. Let me cut to the chase…… four couples, three bottles of wine ( $360 total for the three bottles we drank) final bill: $2780.00!!!!! for three courses.
    We are all foodies and have eaten at Hibiscus in London, Morimoto in New York, Imperial hotel in Tokyo, and many other incredible restaurants across the globe. Never have we had such a terrible and unbelievable experience. The previous reviewer had it exactly right. It was like participating in a bad movie.
    After presenting the bill, there were three line items labeled “open items” totaling $1100.00. At first, service staff were questioned as to the “open items”. They were unable to explain. Next, the manager was asked to explain. Again, he was unable to do so. We asked to converse with our previously gregarious owner/chef, but he refused to face our table and discuss the bill. He only deigned to appear when one of our table members walked out the door. Upon the apparent threat that one of us would actually walk out on him, he magically appeared fresh with threats to call the police to ensure the bill would be paid. Apparently, he’s had to use the line before.
    When he finally did come to the table clearly aware of the issues raised by our table, he offered no explanation of the bill, or the “open charges”, but simply said” it is what it is”. When pressed to itemize the ambiguous charges, he verbally indicated the exorbitant charges for each of the courses and then offered the insult that we must be “unable to afford the meal”, all in the presence of other diners. Perhaps he thought if he could shame us with accusations of poverty, we would put our tails between our legs and leave to lick our wounds quietly. Not a chance! Michelin star customer service? We think not.
    His final effort to offer some customer appreciation was to advise that, “Outback Steakhouse was just down the street”. And, that delightful comment was followed up by an offer on the street for us to do something about it. One has never known such “full service” in a “five star” restaurant before.
    If I hadn’t experienced it, I wouldn’t believe it.
    It’s time to shut this delusional lunatic down! Foodies unite and spread the word! (And, did I mention that most of the food was great — and the wait staff and management had clearly seen all this trouble before and were extremely apologetic and knew it affected them, but for, the imposed 20% gratuity!).
    What a shame. It’s a beautiful space with great food, but with this guy at the helm it’s also fraudulent and dangerous. Beware.

  • 5 BEN NIERENBERG // Feb 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    “What a phony!” vinnybocaraton
    Boca Raton, FL Feb 13, 2011
    Dined at this place the other night. What a ripoff! Food was Ok not great and for those prices should be great. The fat obnoxious guy who said he was the owner, could quite possibly be the most insecure person we have ever met. What a phony, boasted how he owned places all over which is a total lie.
    “worst behavior I have ever seen an adult display” barbara67-11 Delray Beach, Florida
    Feb 12, 2011 This place had potential to become a destination. In the end, the food was ok, the prices were beyond ridiculous and arbitrary, and the owner was arrogant and rude. In addition to charging foolish amounts of money, he managed to hurl unnecessary insults and ruin what should have been a great celebration. Do not eat at this restaurant.
    “prepare to be fed and frauded” delray beach
    Feb 12, 2011 This was our second visit to Apicius. The first was fine, good service good food. We were four and we ordered off the menu. Our second visit was a group of eight for a birthday celebration. Our initially gregarious manager/chef? suggested that as a large group we order “family style” and have the opportunity to enjoy the evening’s specials.
    “DO NOT GO TO THIS RESTAURANT- AVOID AT ALL COST!!!!” LKHW66 Delray Beach, Florida Feb 11, 2011 DO NOT GO TO THIS RESTAURANT. Food was average, service from owner/ chef was below average at best. When bill came, the owner/ chef overcharged us by $200 a piece. When we questioned the bill, he told us he would call the cops if we didn’t pay immediately. He then threw us out of the restaurant .

  • 6 BEN NIERENBERG // Feb 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    The owner is a fraud and a cheat. He has a history with the Department of labor of not paying his employees and pocketing tip money from his waiters which is illegal.
    This placed should be closed down and the owner arrested for thievery and indecency.

  • 7 Apicius // Feb 23, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Ben. Go stand around another restaurant with your hands in your pockets. You worked at apicius for ONE WEEK and all you did at apicius was sign up for opentable which turned out to be a complete disaster bc installing open table was structurally impossible. Good luck with the job search, you unemployed middle-aged SCHMUCK

  • 8 Apicius // Feb 23, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Angela, your three bottles of wine were almost 900 dollars. The price was on the menu. Everything has been submitted to BBB and trip advisor. You and your twinky friends can troll around the Internet all you want, but my best suggestion is to patron establishments you can actually afford.

  • 9 Apicius // Feb 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Also, Angela, if your skewed complaints weren’t enough, who threatened who? Not anyone at Apicius. Rather, one of your klassy krew tried to start a fight. Is that how they do it in Morimoto? Regal us more with your dining background! Color me impressed!

  • 10 Ken Steinhoff // Feb 24, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Sounds like a Jerry Springer show in the making.

    Maybe the servers should clear the table of any sharp knives before the bill (or the owner) arrives.