This page is for comments prior to 2009 for Virtu.
2007-02-02 10:35:12 It seems like Virtu is going for a quiet opening without any advertising. We happened to see the 'now open' banner while driving by and decided to give it a try. The decor is beautiful—sort of a dark, multi-level version of Eros. The service was extremely attentive. My boyfriend had to take a phone call right before the food arrived, and when the waiter saw that he hadn't returned after 2 minutes, he brought the food back to the kitchen to keep warm. When my boyfriend still hadn't returned after 10 minutes, the waiter asked me if he was ok and reassured me that the food was being kept warm. As soon as he came back, the food was in front of him within a minute. Now, on to the food. We started out with an ahi tuna appetizer that was covered in sesame seeds and came with an asian bbq sauce and five spice. I am not much of a fan of raw or near-raw fish, but this was delicious. For the entree, we were both in the mood for steak: I got a strip steak ($23 for a huge piece of meat covered in a red wine reduction, mashed potatoes, and green beans). BenMargolis got a Guinness-marinated flank steak that came with horseradish mashed potatoes and green beans. Both steaks were excellent and the portion sizes were perfect. For dessert, we got a flourless chocolate cake with ice cream—very yummy. Overall, it was a great experience. I'd give the service and decor 10/10 and the food was an 8 or so. It wasn't the most amazing meal I've ever had, but it was definitely very good. The best part about the menu (which is large and varied) is that instead of using pretentious, "upscale" ingredients in weird combinations that most people don't like, they make creative but simple dishes. At restaurants like this, I usually find one or two things on the menu that don't have ingredients I don't like, but here, I would have eaten almost anything on the entire menu. Virtu is upscale without the pretension and I think it's a perfect addition to Corn Hill Landing. —RachelBlumenthal
2007-03-31 15:53:26 At this place, knowledgeable waiters always enhance the meal...not to mention a fantastic value for lunch. The pesto pasta arrives watery - but request extra sauce, now we're talking. At night, the oyster appetizer, said to be extremely popular, makes one sorely miss ethnic restaurant versions, or even seafood market fry-ups. Actually prefer the daytime ambiance – open, airy – over nighttime (which reminds me of the Cheesecake Factory with its, ahem, manufactured mysterious air). —ChristineLeo
2007-04-06 11:14:19 Had a hit-and-miss meal here— We started with the seared tuna appetizer that Rachel mentioned above, which I thought was quite good, although my companion disagreed. We got our bread after the appetizer (?), which had a pretzel-like consistancy and was quite tasty. It came with two infused-butters (salmon and kalamata olive, both daring choices) and dipping-oil. For my entree, I ordered the lamb chops. The meat was well-prepared, and the cucumber and vinagrette dressing was interesting, but did not mesh well. The "wild" rice accompaniment was far-from-wild. My companion's dish consisted of a pounded chicken breast fried and breaded, topped with honey-mustard and served with the same boring wild rice. The dish seemed like something that could have come from a diner. The food was reasonably-priced, and the service and atmosphere were nice, so we weren't too disappointed, but I think there is some room for improvement. —EastSideStephen
2007-04-21 09:28:03 I love the idea of an upscale restaurant at Corn Hill Landing and I really wanted to enjoy Virtu - but I was highly disappointed. The decor had a quality I've experienced at other Rochester restaurants that are trying to be modern/trendy that doesn't quite sit well with me. The best I can explain it as is a bit "hotel-y". Somehow the eating establishments in this city just can't pull it off like restaurants I've been to in other cities. To start the martinis were quite good, and the crab cake appetizer was nice but then the meal went downhill with mediocre salads and bad entrees. My major complaint was the overwhelming use of salt and black pepper as the only seasoning flavors. My recommendation is to hit up the bar at Virtu but skip the dinner - you'll end up with a hefty bill and a mediocre dinner. —EllenKelsey
2007-04-25 18:05:19 Wonderful views of the river and the bridge. Very upscale and pleasing decor. Servers were very friendly and conscientious. The seared ahi and calamari appetizers were excellent. However, the ahi and pork loin entrees were not cooked to our specifications. We wanted rare and they were both well done. The desserts were very good. We will dine here again because we hope this Corn Hill Landing restaurant will succeed, but the food better improve. —SueZee
2007-05-12 14:47:39 I was highly disappointed by my Virtu experience. Visited for lunch on a Friday at 12:45 and the place was almost empty, but they were out of everything. I had to go through three separate orders of entrees that were out before I ave up and ordered an $8 Caesar salad that was just lettuce and dressing. $11 in all for a salad that didn't even fill me up. Service was good, but ideally a restaurant should have food as well. —AlixHamilton
2007-05-14 17:24:06 My wife and I visted virtu about a month ago on a friday night. Food was excellent (both had specials), service was great and the atmosphere was nice too. We took a large party there (13 ppl) on Saturday, we have reservations at 5:15. They called ahead to confirm and to ask which private area we wanted (classy.) upon our arrival, we were greeted by our waiter and all was well. Things went downhill from there, as they were out of many wines and beers, the table had no salt/pepper, and the waiter would dissapear for long periods of time. The food was excellent (I had the Ahi Tuna), but it came out it multiple waves, seperated by 3 or 4 minutes each — which was unacceptable. All in all, they do couples or small groups well, but beware of large parties. They seemed unprepared and unable to handle 13 people. We'll def. be going back, but by ourselves. —GusWeber
2007-06-06 10:12:14 ...what a let-down! The bartender was cold, sour and totally unfriendly. The waiter (at a group of eleven) waited 'till he got halfway around the table to mention what, from the menu, was not available.
The restaurant has a good thing going; location, strong chef and market niche, but they'll soon lose any interest clients have if the service stays static.
...and is it just me or will that interior look totally dated in a few short years? —JasonRoberts
2007-06-22 12:20:24 Almost the whole experience was awful. An hour and change between apps and entree is too long for anyone. The dough on the mozzerella tempora was not cooked through, my husbands entree (after an hour of waiting) had a half of a pound of salt in it and we are still convinced that it was not the exact thing that he ordered but by that point I wanted the experience at Virtu to end-need not stay any longer. The bar was cool and maybe I would go back for drinks there but will not return for food ever. —JakeAlexander
2007-07-31 14:51:54 I took a good friend to Virtu for her birthday about a month ago and had a great experience with both food and service. I had the marinated pork...was the marinade was bourbon and mustard? can't remember exactly...but it was hands down the best pork dish I've ever had. I didn't pay much attention to the decor because we sat outside and thoroughly enjoyed the view of the water and the skyline. Service was flawless. Overall a very good experience that was well worth the price. I have referred several others and have gotten good reviews from them as well. —LanceTeitsworth
2007-08-31 11:24:24 Ive eaten here 3 times and Ive never really had a good meal. (My pasta one time was ok, but I changed the sauce it originally came with to make it better.)
The space is beautiful, the deck is nice to dine on (uncomfortable Walmart chairs though) and every place should have bathrooms like this, but the space doesnt make up for the food which is just so-so.
I think Ill just go there for drinks after Amerks games.
Nice looking trendy place. —MrRochester
2007-09-25 21:23:54 Absolutely the worst service in Rochester. My parents and coworkers also reported bad experiences. The food was good, but not good enough to overcome the unsophisticated servers. We waited 20 minutes for a cocktail at 6 p.m. on a Friday. The server's explanation was that there was "only one bartender on." FOR FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR?! My parents also had to wait forever for a drink and the staff was defensive when called on it. Service was terribly slow overall. It's too bad, because the atmosphere, especially on the deck, is wonderful. But with too young, Britney-Spears wanna-be serves, this place will die a slow death. People won't stand for that kind of treatment. —RochGirl
2007-10-14 21:40:01 I had a good experience here last night. Our waiter was clearly inexperienced, but the waitstaff worked as a team to give us pretty good service. All the entrees, appetizers and salads for a party of 4 were quite good. And the prices are reasonable for the level of service and the quality of the food. —RottenChester
2007-10-28 19:29:28 Dave Mahon & I went tonight for the Rocwiki meeting. Nice large parking area w/ 4 handicapped spots. Very impressed by the lift to get you to the seating area. I had Linguini w/ Onions, Braised Ham, Garlic in a cream sauce. VERY good but the onions were way too much-I think half the onions would've been good enough. My wife enjoyed the leftovers!
A little pricey for a regular spot but for special occassions it's nice
Next Day Update: I'm having major gut issues today—hate to say it but I think its due to the overload of onions.—PeteB
2007-10-28 20:18:42 The beer selection was mostly Canadian and European imports; I ordered a Post Road Pumpkin Ale. Service was prompt and attentive, but unobtrusive. A TV was set to the day's football games; it was muted when food service began at 5pm.
I ordered the shrimp cerviche salad, which had a generous helping of shrimp and thin slices of avocado, chunks of tomato and red onion on a bed of greens. It was light and refreshing, well presented, and I felt it was appropriately sized. The dressing was spot on. It was served with some slices of crusty bread and three different toppings: an olive tapenade, a cinnamon-maple spread and a lightly garlic oil sauce.
Even wearing t-shirts and jeans, we were given the same service that other diners, wearing theatre-going garb, were provided.
2007-10-29 01:01:00 Vegetarian choices include three appetizers (one vegan), a few uninteresting salads, two pasta dishes (one possibly vegan), one entree. Bread came with a variety of spreads (garlic oil, olive butter, maple sugar cinnamon butter), and gorgonzola fondue was good. I had the pesto and white beans dish, which was really excellent. Good service, nice atmosphere, not shockingly overpriced, great views of the city and new bridge. —AzureHansen
2007-11-05 19:31:471 I went for lunch today and was very appalled by the service. WE had this waitress Atraya, she was very rude and wasn't very happy. I lost my apetite just from her attitude. Needless to say, I didn't enjoy my lunch. Worst of all, I saw another waitress in the ladies room who came out of the stall and didn't wash her hands. How unsanitary. I am very disgusted and will never return to Virtu. —JaclynHilton
2007-11-05 22:32:56 i do not recommend this restaurant to anyone. HORRIBLE service and food quality. Not only is the food disgusting it is very over priced. —RachelTam
2007-11-26 20:22:30 I don't understand why the "trolling" warning is up there. Seems a common theme is poor service. Not everything will be positive! I can tell you my post below is for real! —RochGirl
2007-11-29 16:48:44 The new wine list looks very interesting! —GordonAnderson
2008-02-20 09:44:32 I have visited Virtu twice and both times the food has been excellent. During the week it isn't too busy and tables are available to overlook the river (pleasant site at night). Service has been hit or miss so I believe others concerns but, this past time our server was wonderful and accommodating. Regardless of the servers, the risotto dish is fantastic! —NightlifeCher
2008-04-28 23:28:39 Went there to celebrate with the folks at work. The steak and sea food were perfect. My ap-pear-entini was fabulous, but the vegetarian entree was very mediocre. Good ambience and service. —SmitaRao
2008-04-29 08:50:58 I went to dinner on April 18. I got a Caesar salad that had about 1/2 romaine lettuce and 1/2 romaine hearts. My buddy complained that his was similar and had brown hearts and was instructed by the waiter (per the chef) that in the future, he should specify that he didn't want romaine hearts in the salad. (!)
Our steaks, the Guinness Flank Steaks, were small and overcooked.
I would have a hard time returning to this establishment. —MikeFisher
2008-05-24 17:21:54 This is a beautiful restaurant in a beautiful part of the city with a beautiful view. Too bad that's about all that it is. The inside reminds me of many of the hip places you see throughout NYC. But aside from that and the nice bathrooms, there is nothing noteworthy on the menu. I ordered a Mojito and an Espresso Martini. The bartender handed me a Mudslide Martini instead and probably never realized what he had done. They both taste the same but an espresso martini is dark and doesn't have any cream in it. He then told me another bartender was making my Mojito because she makes the best Mojito in the city. I was looking forward to it but was disappointed. It wasn't sweet enough and had very little rum in it. There should only be a splash of club soda in it and my glass was full of it, even though it was flat. We sat outside by the water until the hostess told us that our table was ready. Once we sat down we waited, and waited, and waited! What a waste of a gorgeous night! We must have been sitting at our table for almost 20 minutes before anybody came over. The pasta was great but unfortunately I didn't order pasta. I ordered their ribeye special and told Dan that I would like it medium rare. When it arrived the first thing I did was check to see if it was medium rare. It wasn't. It was well done. I checked in several spots and they were all the same. I managed to grab our server's attention when he was done with the table next to ours and told him the meat is well done. His asked me if I was sure, and that maybe I was cutting into the fat. I assured him that it was overcooked and then he said, "What do you want me to do? Have another one cooked?" Ummmm.... I don't know of any other way to do it so I of course said yes! I should have kept the risotto, shrimp and asparagus because when he returned with another plate 10 minutes later, the asparagus had shrunk and there was half as much risotto as before. I think the shrimp was still the same one though. The meat was the right temperature this time but it was an awful cut of meat which consisted of mostly fat. I read the reviews and didn’t want to go because the first time I ate here also wasn’t that great. But that was last year shortly after they opened and it was a beautiful night to be outside and by the water, so I gave in. I’ll be sure not to make this mistake again!!! We have a lot better places in the city that serve both good food and good drinks and have knowledgeable professional staff! I’ll spend my money there next time and forego the waterside view! —AlexProtasiewicz
2008-06-13 15:41:40 This place exudes class. Never had a bad meal, and the service has been excellent. The patio is, in my opinion the best in town. —JK44
2008-06-14 00:20:39 I have read the reviews about Virtu and decided to eat there a few times before writing my review. First let me start off by saying that I have been a fan of Chef Mondry- Doeblers since she worked at Sienna. And as far as the food is concerned at Virtu she has done an amazing job. Granted it doesn't come with the creativity and flair that Siennas food had, or still has but it still very good and the specials are elegant and quite tasty. My concern about Virtu seems to be the same as everyone elses. Although the food is great the problems all seem to be in the service. I was in tonight with several freinds. The bartender..I think her name was Atraya was miserable. Not someone I would want to start the customers night off with . She just left a bad taste. Our server however was worse. Dan seemed not to know much about the menu and certainly doesn't seem to have the polish that some of the other servers have. The manager seemed very stand- offish to the point of rude at the end of the night and seemed more interested in her glass of wine than the customers experience. I will go to eat there again but hopefully the service will improve to the standards of the food!! —JisanaDeFaccio
2008-07-11 20:26:29 Well let me start by saying that there cannot be a better place to view the fireworks in Rochester!!!! So impressive!!! We had reservations for quite a few months and very glad that we did because the restaurant was a full house. The experience was enjoyable. We were sat about half an hour after our arrival which due to how busy We were not upset. I and other members of my party ordered quite a few of the specialty martinis and some wine off the very fun wine list. Much to our suprise only because the bar was swamped with only two bartenders the drinks came very promptly and were absolutely DE-LISH...! The food on the other hand was pretty awful!!!! Our server was nice but obviously overwhelmed fighting the crowd. I will go back mainly because the location the hostess/ manager? left a bit to be desired. Hope they can get it together. —pattygoldstien
2008-07-23 18:23:08 I just want to say that this place is the best place in town, hands down. I come here at least three times a week. I am always pleasently welcomed by the General Manager Shawna who knows her customers by name which you really cant get anywhere else. And,the bartender Patrick who just recently started there as always took great care of me at the bar for lunch. For lunch I had there Ahi tuna appetizer which was cooked to perfection ! Then, I always get my favorite the Bolognese. Which, today I found out is there signature dish. The chef wasn't available but I wanted to commend her on another great lunch.I recommend this to all my friends and family and they too love Virtu. Hopefully, weather permitting I'll be having lunch on there patio Friday:) —AvirtuReg
2008-08-18 13:33:32 Our recent trip to Virtu (8/8/08) was a mixed experience. On the plus side, we were greeted and seated promptly, the staff was courteous and overall our food was very good. Unfortunately, the list of "needs improvement" outweighs the positives. We ordered a bottle of one of two wines the restaurant was recommending for the evening. To accompany it, we ordered an antipasto to share. The kitchen should have been embarrassed to send it out. The assortment was uninspired and the presentation left alot to be desired consisting of chunks of salami (luckily they were classy enough not to jab them with toothpicks), chunks of cheese that looked like it came presliced from a package, need I go on? The service was abyssmal and we waited over 45 minutes for our entrees and another 20 minutes at the end of the meal for the waiter to bring back our credit card and charge slip for signature. We were seated in the area directly across from the front door and on a sunny evening, the light was almost blinding one of my dinner companions. We were told to just "slide the table to the left a few inches". It would be advisable for the owners to invest in a shade so patrons don't have to rearrange furniture in the middle of a meal. Knowing that Virtu is affiliated with Sienna, my expectations were set very high and we walked away a bit disappointed. Major improvements to the service and consistency in the presentation would go a long way! —SUEFINE
2008-08-22 12:26:04 My last experience was extremely disappointing. Had reservations and arrived early to enjoy a drink at the bar. Bartenders are always wonderful and attentive - I am embarrasingly picky about my martini orders but, they have always gotten it right! However, when sat we waited 15 minutes for a server, I wound up returning to the bar to get another drink for myself and guest and talked to the hostess. She apologized and went to get a server. I could see her trying to talk to different servers to pick up our table. The server we had first greeted the table next to us that was just sat and never apologized for our wait. Instead, he threw his fellow server under a bus telling us that he couldn't handle the table and was easily overwhelmed. Very unprofessional. It may have been my fault that I stated "I think we are ready to order" instead of a more definite answer because he replied, "I'll give you more time to read the menu" and disappered for another several minutes. We decided to only get entrees because we didn't want to be there any longer than needed anymore. I will excuse the food because it was the first day of their new menu and their execution was sub par. The truffled mashed potatoes were soupy and... I'm not sure how to explain it besides, unimpressive. We were still hungry and ordered the ribs to go - they were extremely fatty. I will credit the server for being pleasant I just prefer more professionality. I am hoping this is an isolated incidence. I have always loved it there. —NightlifeCher
2008-09-26 02:06:41 I am normally a very complacent and forgiving restaurant guest. I was looking forward to dining at Virtu and, delicious food aside, was APPALLED by every aspect of my experience at this establishment. I was celebrating a friend’s birthday, and our whole crew was excited to sit near the river and enjoy some great food. Unfortunately, the front of the house staff at this place offended on numerous occasions, most notably our server… she was awful.
The 3 of us arrived right on time for our 7:30 reservation and were seated promptly at a table with a perfect view of the bridge. Shortly after taking our seat a very friendly person came over and filled our water glasses. His service was the ONLY outstanding part of our meal. After he left we proceeded to sit at our table for 20 minutes without ever seeing a server glance our way. We were completely ignored for nearly a half-hour. As per most fast-food establishments and diners, I was forced to flag someone down… as if prompt service was an unreasonable expectation. Our "server" made her way over to our table, half-apologized for making us wait saying “nobody told me they sat you”. She then took our food orders without ever mentioning a special (which I later overheard her telling a new table was a delicious steak entree) and disappeared for another 15-20 minutes while we sat waiting for our cocktails. The water person then stopped by and dropped some bread and a delicious trio of spreads… unfortunately there was what I could only conclude to be a pubic hair floating in our garlic olive oil. Thankfully, our water person was accessible (more so than the actual server ever was throughout our meal) and he promptly replaced the ramekin with a sincere apology.
Nearly 45 minutes after our arrival the crab fritters and martinis were at our table. The fritters, although described by our server as “extra mushy crab cakes”, were exceptional. It’s unfortunate they were made to sound so unappealing. My martini glass had a giant chip in the rim but at that point I just sipped from the other side… I didn’t want to risk having to wait another 20 minutes for a cocktail. About an hour and a half into the meal our entrees were dropped… and they were EXCELLENT (or maybe we were just starving). The birthday girl ordered the Lobster Puttanesca, I ordered the Atlantic salmon, and our other friend had the Spinach Ravioli with a Caesar salad. The dishes were flavorful and beautifully arranged. The kitchen staff here knows what they are doing (I wish I could say the same about the service staff).
By the time we finished our entrees it was nearly 9:30. We would have loved to purchase a bottle of champagne and some desert but the preceding service had given us serious reason to reconsider. We opted for cocktails and desert at The Social where we received friendly, pre-emptive service. What was even worse was that nobody ever seemed apologetic about the sub-par service we were receiving; it was like this service was the way they treated any person who walked through the door intending to spend $250 on food and drinks. If you want to eat halfway-decent over-priced food served with a nonchalant attitude and an eye for offending customers, head to virtue... you won't be disappointed.
2008-10-03 13:50:32 Does this mean that the food will improve? —AthenaStephanopolous
2008-10-04 16:36:19 The decor is great, the service was ok, but the food was not impressive. I went on a Tuesday, so it may have been an off night, but every dish tasted like it was doused in butter to make up for the lack of complexity in flavor. I probably won't go back, but if I do, it will definitely be on a weekend. —JaredStrohl
2008-10-06 16:12:35 So sorry to see that the Chef has left. The only thing this restaurant had going for it was the food.As for Athena's comment....unfortunately the food got worse. We ate dinner here on Friday October 3rd. What a major disappointment. You can tell that there is no longer anyone in that kitchen that cares. The food was salty, sloppy, and just a disappointment all the way around. Go for wine... the list is the best in town and to socialize, I will wait to see where the Chef lands and go to eat there instead —MischaAlton
2008-10-07 11:13:22 I have never been to Virtu.
As someone who looks at RocWiki daily, the patterns and frequency of negative comments make me wonder if there is a collaborative effort to slam them. It is my opinion that there is. There have been a few people posting under different usernames that seem to be the same person. (AthenaStephanopolous may also be KristinFlores who seems to be connected to the Gate House Cafe.)
Like everything on the internet, take what you read here with a grain of salt. (Including what I have written.)
Update by Badfish 10/08/08: The posting methods of Kristen and Athena have been done in a way which would indicate one of 2 possibilities: 1. They are the same person posting under different names. 2. They are 2 individuals both sharing and posting from 2 different computers. My *opinion* is that it is probably option 2, but option 1 is still a real possibility. —BadFish
2008-10-07 16:26:37 Regarding above comment, it has been noted on Badfish's user profile via a comment from kristenfloresfratto that she and and AthenaStephanopolous occassionally share a computer hence the possible reason for comments coming from the same IP. —PeteB
I'd tried to write a review of Virtu, but everything is locked. I had an awful dining experience at Virtu last week. I think it is not in the spirit of a Wiki to lock it just because comments are negative. Rather than a conspiracy against Virtu, it seems like the creator of this page is in with the owner of Virtu. I went with my wife on a Sunday night. We had the following: house salad, calamari, samosos, seared "ahi" tuna, and the duck. It was without a doubt the worst meal I have had since I moved to Rochester 4 years ago.
house salad - wilted greens, boring vinaigrette, only 1 slice of sundried tomato
calamari - really seemed like salt and lemon with calamari on the side. I have never tasted food so salty and lemony.
chicken samosos - these were okay, not outstanding, but not bad
seared "ahi" tuna - the biggest issue here was that it was not ahi tuna. It was yellowfin or albacore. I complained to the waitress and she did nothing to address my complaint. It was called ahi tuna on the menu, but they did not serve ahi. This is atrocious to me.
duck - undercooked and not that tasty. Also included a stuffing on the side that seemed like it was leftover from thanksgiving and tasted like ham.
Overall it was a horrendous dining experience. I would like to comment on that in a Wiki, but somebody has taken this Wiki into their own hands. 12/15/08-Tcrafts
Naw, we just meant to lock it for a few days to let a dispute quiet down, and then forgot about it. I suppose it did quiet down :-) It's unlocked now. 12/15/08-RyanTucker
In response to Tcrafts comment Yellowfin Tuna=ahi Tuna 12/16/08-ArielArias
Well it was pale pink/white.... not a deep red. So it wasn't the ahi I am used to. 12/16/08-Tcrafts
2008-12-18 10:17:55 I love the conspiracy theory about slamming this restaurant. Very funny. Maybe its the owner claiming a conspiracy? If so, just fix the problems listed over-and-over and you could have a gold mine with this place.
We read the bad reviews and heard from many our friends that the bar was nice and restaurant/food was disappointing. I agree with a lot of what is written. It is a beautiful space. I'm sure its great in the summer to sit outside and enjoy the view but I suggest you go for a drink and get dinner somewhere else. We ordered tapas and they were cold and slimy. Service was OK but was more interested in waiting on the employee table sitting next to us. A couple sitting close to us got into an argument with the waiter. Not good..... —JamesPatrick
2008-12-29 02:23:36 This is the first upscale restaurant that I've been to and it is very nice. It has a very classy atmosphere and I would recommend it to anyone trying to have a romantic or girls/fellas night out. The Pittsburgh steak salad and the P**** Galore, alcoholic drink, are a must try. —kanlevert