I can’t help but feel sorry for independent restaurant owners who can’t depend on their service staff when they are out of the restaurant. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I write about my recent visit to Nosh. When owners Celeste and Avner Samuel are in the house, the service sings smoothly. On a Wednesday evening at 6:45 pm, they were not present. The scene I witnessed was like an episode of Restaurant Stakeout, the TV show that installs hidden cameras and lets the owners watch the horror shows that take place in their absence. Three of us sat for 14 minutes, waiting to place our orders while staff members stood in front of the open kitchen with plates of food. One, with food in hand, walked across the dining room as he chewed. Our waiter turned his back to us as he read the daily specials off a chalkboard. The food deserves better. Tempura-battered squash blossoms were light, airy, and delectable. Penne was a tad undercooked, but the rich, thick bites of duck confit and crisp sweet peas tossed with the pasta were full of flavor. Slow-cooked short ribs rested on a mound of fluffy mashed potatoes and were surrounded by a delicate short rib jus. Dark chocolate profiteroles filled with chocolate ice cream disappeared in seconds. As did our server after we asked for the check.

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