“Hi. Welcome to Cinquecento Trattoria. Have you been here before? Let me explain how it worksâ€¦”
This right in the entranceway, so we have to squeeze over to let people in. Oh, by the way there is no menu, just options at the counter (1 item $7.95, 2 – $8.95, 3 – $9.95) and pizza, but you can only have pizza on the rooftop patio.
We are directed to the counter to select dishes: Vegetarian lasagna, seafood pasta (no tomatoes), sweet potato fries, rice balls, chicken cutlet, sausage & peppers, stuffed eggplant and four salads â€” mesclun, green, orzo and fruit. There are also pre-made paninis ($6.95).
It’s an exhausting and awkward setup, but you do get a good-sized lunch: Greasy, but tender chicken cutlets are filling, the salad is fine but boring, and the rubbery sausages stay on the plate.
Dinner, with a menu and table service, is clearly the better option.