First off, the good. The overall ambiance of the restaurant is good. The decor is nice, the lighting (somewhat dim overall) is acceptable, and the backround music selection is well thought out (but a bit loud). The service is responsive.... no complaints there.
But, for a restaurant that is "trying" to be an upscale pizza and martini establishment, there's some glaring issues with their effort. First, I cannot understand how a restaurant the features authentic Italian pizza does not use a high temp coal or wood fired oven to prepare their specialty?!? Our Margherita pizza was limp, lacked enough basil, and really NOT that good. The crust seemed good, but without proper cooking methodology, it fell quite short of expectations for us. And the fact that our waiter asked about parmesan on top of our pizza, and proceeded to spoon (bottled store bought quality, ughh) the non-freshly grated cheese on the incorrectly baked pizza, completed our negative critique.
Second, the martinis. We arrived during "happy hour" (before 7:00PM) and were informed of 2 for 1 martinis. We normally have a glass of wine with dinner, but we decided to try the "discounted" martinis. My wife ordered the Cosmo, and I the house "joiatini" which was a vodka and amarreto concoction. The first thing that you experience with these martinis is the "watered down" taste. One must wonder why that is so prominent???
We also ordered an appetizer before our pizza, the mussels in a tomato broth. The broth was correct, it was a bit zesty and tasted good with our bread. But we had a few mussels in the bowl that never opened up, and that's a no no for a serving chef to deliver to the customer. We informed our waiter of that, and, after quite a wait (not that we were waiting for it) he delivered 3 mussels in sauce. lolol
In a final analysis, this restaurant needs a good advisor to point out the couple of (relatively inexpensive) "tweaks" that will carry this restaurant to the level that they are trying to accomplish. Maybe the fact that the Riverview area has SO few good places to eat has made management complacent with what they are doing. But I beg to differ with that thought....
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