I'd been away from the area for a considerable length of time but upon my return this is one of the restaurants I couldn't wait to eat at again. What a disappointment. As the first reviewer noted back in 2002, this place was amazing and the sheer amounts of food you got was more than worth the high prices. Well, the high prices are still there but the food is now on par with hospital cafeteria food. Blech. I'm not sure what happened but it is definitely not the amazing restaurant I remember.
Notably, the spaghetti was way overcooked and mushy, the bread was stale and the chicken Marsala lacked flavor. There was no signature starter tray. The waitstaff didn't even acknowledge us as we were standing there, as they continued on with their chitchat, although the place was deserted. We didn't finish our meals and we will not be eating there again.
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At first we were pleased with Massie's. Maybe because we were new faces we were treated differently. We thought the more we came to the restaurant, the friendlier it would become. We were mistaken after dining there for at least 15 times in a couple months. Food was very good until our recent visit. My husband was especially excited about the relish tray and liver paté which is served with all dinner meals. You have to sit in the dining area to receive the relish tray, soup and liver paté with your meals. If you sit outside of that area, there is an extra charge for these items. I ordered lasagna the first time I ate there and it was delicious. My husband enjoyed the garlic bread. I went for the Italian bread which seemed to have been sitting out for awhile. Other visits the bread was just as stale. Once the butter tasted funny to me.
Massie's does a hopping business. Can't deny that. The place is very busy during dinner hours. Had to wait for a seat a couple times. We never had a reservation, ever, and waiting a couple of times isn't that bad. If you want privacy or a quiet atmosphere, this is not the place to be. The bar area has I believe five small booths.
The waiters and waitresses are friendly but other employees are too busy to greet us in a friendly manner except for a quick "no smile" hello. I was expecting some type of conversation after our many visits. That's not a lot to ask. Nope, just what do you want, dinner or ala carte? On a cool night the large, old-time air conditioners are blasting. You see most diners sitting with heavy sweaters or jackets. One person actually had their hood up. After several requests from others to turn down the air conditioner they finally did.
The soups are ALWAYS chicken vegetable or minestrone. My husband and I have yet to tell the difference between either of them. They look the same and pretty much taste the same. No other soups in all the times we have been there.
So on our final visit I ordered baked ziti, my favorite. Ricotta and mozzarella cheese cover the dish; the sauce is very good. When our dinners arrived I see I did not get ricotta or mozzarella on my ziti. It was just plain ziti with meat sauce. I explained to our waitress that my dinner was not want I had ordered. With a frown on her face she said she would take it back to the kitchen. She returned once again and said the dinner was being prepared and it will be out in a few minutes. 15 minutes later my dinner appeared with an apology. It did not taste very good; the sauce was salty and acidic. I ate some of it and brought the rest home. I feel that we should have been offered something off our bill for the mistake. Sure I got the right one in the end but the wait was unacceptable.
We were seated at a table in the dining area which was the main route to the kitchen and the route to the table and bar area where water was kept and the leftovers from others were packed up. It was a busy route which made eating distractive to say the least. Our table shook with each passing person.
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It's storefront facade is easy to miss, nestled on a gritty part of Main Street (US Route 9) in South Glens Falls, NY next to a tatoo parlor. But once you find the place, you'll never forget it, because stepping into Massie's for dinner is like going back in time to the kind of Italian restaurant your grandfather enjoyed.
The dining room is a busy place with decor little changed from the 1940's - wood panel wainscotting below painted murals of nearby Lake George, interrupted here and there by gigantic, ancient air conditioning units almost imperceptibly humming in the background; tables covered with yellow linen and brown napkins accented with candles and pots of grated cheese; waiters in black vests and ties bustling back and forth from the kitchen with enormous trays of food. Most of the tables here seat six or more - Massie's is the kind of place to bring friends and family - and the air rustles with conversation, laughter, and the clink of wine glasses. For a more intimate setting, you might choose a booth in the dark, cozy bar, with it's maroon leather upholstery, dark panelling, and trophy fish hanging on the wall. Either way, the meals are outstanding and the service friendly and attentive without being annoying.
Your waiter will take an initial drink order and then leave you to pore over the menu. The appetizers on the menu are strictly tradtional - tomato juice, anchovies with oil, sardines, shrimp cocktail - no fried mozarella, buffalo wings, or potato skins here. But skip them over anyway, because soon the waiter will reappear with a relish tray piled high with olives, half-sour pickles, sweet pickled cherry peppers, sliced carrots, ribs of celery and delicate curled scallions. He'll also have a basket of dense homemade bread hot from the oven, crunchy garlic toast redolent with garlic, herbs, and melted butter, and generous scoops of whipped butter and Massie's signature liver pate - smooth and flavorful and good enough to be a meal in itself with the breads. A word to the waiter will keep these goodies refreshed throughout the meal, but don't be hasty in reordering for next, a small fresh garden salad is followed by a bowl of your choice of that day's soups. On our latest visit, these were chicken and minestrone - hearty, rich, and loaded with fresh local vegetables - and were served a familia from steaming steel tureens left at the table to answer the call for seconds.
The main dishes at Massie's are as outstanding as the starters. Ordering homemade Italian sausage brings three thick ten-inch links of savory pork sausage made from coarse chunks of tender pork laced with garlic, sage, and herbs, served with roasted green bell peppers and tangy marinara sauce. Pork tenderloin scallopini are thick medallions of pork in a rich tomato and mushrooms sauce. Still hungering for chicken livers after the marvelous pate? Try chicken livers Caruso - a heaping platter of chicken livers, sauteed in olive oil with onions and served with homemade spaghetti.
The spaghetti deserves a special mention all it's own. All of the dinners come with a bowl of standard spaghtetti, but for an extra $1.50 it can be upgraded to Massie's homemade version, and for a pasta lover it's well worth it. Perfectly al dente, these thick strands of pasta are enriched with extra eggs and made fresh in the kitchen.
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