We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nice and yummy.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ristorante Barolo - CLOSED

No photo provided
Got a photo?
Add it.
Ristorante Barolo
8041 Soquel Dr, Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 688-8495
Website
Improve this listing
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Washington
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Nice and yummy.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

This is one of those places you want so badly to succeed. We've been there at least a dozen times -- even during the era when there was very annoying opera singing, before big-time TV came in to "save the day" -- and the food has always been scrumptious. The chef is true Italian and you can find him IN the kitchen. The service changed a bit since the owners were subjected by "Restuarant Impossible" to follow an unnatural script. Come on this is Aptos! Not NY. You may not get the contrived, peppy "welcome to Barolo's" from a 17 year-old hostess whose buxom is pouring out of her shirt, but you will get kind attention from people who just want to make great food in a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere. Ok, maybe they should bring back cloth napkins and have the staff take gum out of their mouth, but it's minor stuff for a really good meal. If you remember any item that used to be on the old menu, or want something a little different, they will make it for you. I'm thinking the service quirks are totally forgivable and would hate to see this place gone.... just try it...and don't miss seeing one of the country's biggest Magnolia trees out front!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

30 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    8
    6
    5
    5
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Scotts Valley
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great food and hospitality”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

I purchased a Groupon after watching the Restaurant Impossible episode and my husband and I were excited to try the restaurant for our first time. We joined two other couples for dinner on a recent Friday night and really enjoyed the decor/ambiance. All looked nice and clean!

We brought in several bottles of our own wine (corkage charged) but did purchase a bottle of champagne to pair with our appetizers. Unfortunately they were out of the Proseco so we ordered a Brut and it was delicious - surprisingly on the sweeter side.

Appetizers orderded:
1. Calamari - not deep fried and tasted good.
2. Beef carpaccio - capers made it a bit tart but everyone enjoyed the dish.
3. Mozzarella dish - delicious!
Oh yeah, can't forget the bread and olive oil/garlic dip - fantastic!

Entrees ordered:
1. Mushroom stuffed ravioli with cream sauce and truffle oil (a special) - I am not a huge fan of cream sauces but this dish was delicious!!
2. Penne Arrabiata - homemade sausage was yummy and sauce was good.
3. Portafaglio - chicken dish was great and very rich in flavor.
4. LinguinI di Mare - our friend said it was great and he ate the whole darn bowl!

For dessert we shared the Tiramisu (soooo flavorful) and Creme Brûlée (on the sweeter side).

Our waitress was pleasant but besides the food, the best part of the night was when owners, Giovanni, and his wife Christine, came out to greet us. What a sweet and fun couple! Giovanni showed us around the property, shared with us the history of the Hotel and was so very hospitable! We all had such a great time and look forward to our return! Just wish we would of ventured out to Ristorante Barolo sooner!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Probably won't be back”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

My husband and I had dinner here - we used a Groupon, so saved about $20. We had been here for dinner about a year ago (before the television reality show make-over) and had actually enjoyed ourselves then. I know everyone panned this place at that time - maybe we had just hit an exceptional night?

Unfortunately we must have NOT hit a very good night this time around. To begin, there were lots of houseflies in the dining area. It was pretty gross, having to constantly wave them away from our food.

The hostess, an older woman, seemed to be sleepwalking as she took us to our table, but our waitress was very pleasant and although I could tell she was trying her best, it was apparent she could have used a little training in the art of serving. The menus are encased in plastic - a bit out of place for the semi-elegant ambiance it seems they are trying to provide. We were not brought a wine list - the waitress wanted to take our dinner orders immediately. We asked for a wine menu, and she seemed surprised that we wanted one.

We ordered two glasses of wine, and then the caprese salad to split as an appetizer. Very few appetizer choices on the menu. The caprese came with mango on it - a little odd, but the waitress had warned us. It wasn't really a great combination of flavors, but easy enough to remove the mango and the rest was good. The tomatoes were ripe, and the mozzarella was fresh.

The menu is not extensive, and the salads and appetizers especially seem a little steep in price for this kind of restaurant. Bread and a really great pepper-infused olive oil were served - possibly the best part of the whole dinner experience - and at no charge.

We ordered two pasta dishes, mine a seafood dish with lots of mussels and clams. The waitress did not bring a side dish for the shells ... couldn't get her attention, so I ended up taking the saucer from the olive oil bowl and using it for my discarded shells. The pasta dish was decent. Not the best I've ever had, but far from the worst.

My husband ordered the spaghetti carbonera - which is what I had had the other time we were here. When I had it, it was probably the best I have ever tasted - very rich and flavorful. Not this time - kind of dry and there were a few odd gritty bone-like pieces of something in it.

We had finished our glasses of wine and were hoping for a second round, but our waitress didn't come back to our table. We saw her once or twice, but couldn't catch her eye, so we never ordered the wine.

All in all, it was a pretty blah dining experience. Nothing really horrible, but nothing memorable, either. Glad we had the Groupon to offset the price a little.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aptos, California
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Newly Improved”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

The Restaurant Impossible crew came to overhaul this very tired restaurant, which was losing money daily. They not only revamped the atmosphere, but completely redid the menu. We had avoided the restaurant for a long time since the food was terrible. When we heard a redo was happening, we wanted to give them another try. What a fabulous experience it was. You would never have known it was the same place! The food was devine, the service was excellent, and the new decor was a complete departure from the previous cluttered surroundings. Definitely worth the visit.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz California
1 review
“Thoroughly impressed with the new launch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

Theres some mixed reviews prior to the remodel and menu redo, I hadnt been there before but after all the media attention we decided to give it a try and see what all the fuss was about. I must say the ambience is remarkable, great feel, lighting and colors were perfect felt like we stepped back in time. Service was very good compared to any upscale restaurant without feeling snobby or stuffy and trust me I've been to a few of those in Las Vegas. Menu was streamlined enough to where you didnt need a GPS to locate everything wouldnt mind seeing a few more appetizer options but the items we did order were brought out within 15min and were the right temperature cooked perfectly. I wont elaborate on what we ordered since it may throw a bias to try something, pick something you really like and see for yourself. Overall it was a great experience with very good Italian food which is saying something considering how many Italian restaurants there are in Santa Cruz County easily on par with the best I've tried in San Francisco and SouthBay. The owner came out to meet us and I didnt hear anyone yelling at all so looks like Chef Irvin got his point across. I hope they make it, very nice family and definitely deserve it.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Ristorante Barolo also viewed

 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Ristorante Barolo, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.