We tried Bar Bambino twice, once with a party of two and another time as a party of six. both times, we were impressed with the wine list, the concept, (really authentic,) great execution on the food and the cheeses and salumi were top notch. I even found a bottle of wine from the Alto Adige region of Italy where I stayed with a friend's family once. (My family lives further south).
So I thought it would be an excellent experience to share with other friends. Was I disappointed when after making reservations well in advance, having them confirmed and showing up a tiny bit early, that our table wasnt even near to being ready. We were promised a table (Clare, the hostess pointed it out) and friends happen to have been sitting at the adjoining table. (the place is tightly packed). The hostess or whoever decided to turn that table twice in the time frame alloted for one dinner. As a result, we were waiting more than 45 minutes for that table to finish. I was told repeatedly that there is a two hour window for each dining party, but that seemed really phony after consulting with my amigos at the adjoining table. We were made to stand either in a crowded hall or out on 16th and Capp (I've lived here all my life and never thought I'd be standing on that sketchy corner for any reason). We were put off repeatedly and NOT EVEN OFFERED A GLASS OF WINE while we waited. (This, for your information is the custom in most good restaurants in Italy and around the world). Plus, miss hostess was obviously in over her head, and not treating waiting customers professionally. After almost an hour wait, we decided to try another place. Not fun on a Friday night after you go through all the trouble to make resos, and show up. If you like drunk screaming yuppies and inept service in a beautiful space in a terrible neighborhood, this is the place. I will NEVER go back - neither will my friends.
Pros: Great wine list - wonderful cheese selection and salumi
Cons: not many veg options, horrible inept hostess, loud as all get out