Sadly, this place has just dropped in ranking. It is still in the same list, however, because the food is really good.
The service at Travinia, on the other hand, has always been Hit-or-Miss at best. Tonight happened to be a big, big miss...we actually walked out. Which is something that we've only done once before.
Tonight's story goes as follows...
We walked in to the very non-busy Travinia Italian Kitchen at around 9:30 on a Saturday night, hoping to have some yummy Italian before watching John Carter (Definitely watch this in 3D!!!). After standing at the Hostess stand for easily 5 minutes, and watching the wait staff ignore us, we were finally given the scenic tour of the restaurant to a table that I can only imagine was in a closed section.
I say that the section must've been closed because we sat at the table for 8 minutes (we had a timer) and watched not only waitstaff but the manager walk by us numerous times, and none of them had the wherewithal to ask if we needed anything...not even water. So, we walked out and went to 131 Main; where we had probably one of the best dining experiences that we've had in Asheville.
On our way out of Travinia, my wife spoke with the manager (Whom I remember to be a crappy waiter as well), and explained our experience. To which he replied "Well, if I had known..." No apology...no offer of any kind...just, simply, "Well, if I had known..." Seriously??!! How could you walk by a table, multiple times, and NOT notice that there aren't even glasses of water??!!
So, to the manager at Travinia, on Saturday 3/17/2012...You owe Dan (the manager of 131 Main), and Rene' (our waitress) dinner! After hearing about our experience at Travinia, Dan opted to buy our dinner when one of our entree's ended up coming out later than expected.
As I think more about this...Travinia's service has been slowly becoming more Miss than Hit, over the last year...Even though the food is really good, I can't get over the fact that when the service is bad, it's REALLY BAD!!! There's no middle ground. So, I think that I am going to go ahead and move Travinia Italian Kitchen to the Ugly list. Who knows...maybe they'll get moved back up...someday.
With my raving about the waiter, you're probably wondering why I've put Travinia in the "Bad" list, and not the "Good" list. Well, everything was going great until they started getting close to shutting the doors. Then the manager (who looks like Rick Steves if you know who that is) started strutting around the place, barking orders at people...AND the wait staff that were still there seemed unaware that there were still customers in the place. One of them slumped into a chair, at one of the tables while he talked on his phone. Another person wondered aimlessly around the place whistling.