“Hi. Welcome to Cinquecento Trattoria. Have you been here before? Let me explain how it works…”
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 — 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.