My wife and I visited Lagrange, Georgia on Friday evening 6/14/2013 to see the town and eat at Venucci. I had looked up some Lagrange restaurants online earlier in the day. I was looking for something that stood out from the common and was not the cheese-filled, frozen-and-reheated chain restaurant fare.
Several restaurants looked promising. Among them was Venucci which had a decent menu of various italian meals. It is marketed via the Downtown Restaurant Group's website as "Venucci - Fine Food, Relaxed Atmoshpere." We decided to go for it.
Upon entering Venucci, we were greeted and soon seated in the small dining area of 10 or 12 tables. Decor was simple. The tables were covered with beat-up checkered black and white vinyl tablecloth. The pattern was worn and faded and the edges were torn and frayed in places.
The service was friendly and efficient. We ordered wine and water and those came out fairly quickly along with bread and dipping oil with herbs and garlic. As the waitress served the dipping oil, she dumped a large heap of dried oregano on the oil.
Our food order was a bruschetta appetizer, salads with balsamic dressing, and a shrimp and scallop pescatore entree for two. All the courses came out at a reasonable pace. The bruscheta appetizer was tasty. Our entree of shrimp and scallop pescatore was not so great. The shrimp and scallops seemed ok, but the pasta and the sauce were lacking in vibrance and flavor and was clearly infused with way too much dried oregano as the dipping oil was. This meal was disappointing to say the least.
Venucci is a small, mom-and-pop-type restaurant with mediocre food tasting too strongly of dried oregano. For our food and wine we paid $63. Adding insult to injury, first - when we finished our meal at our tiny table, our waitress asked us to pass her our plates as if we were sitting at large banquet table. The place was not crowded. If she took two steps to the other edge of the table she would be standing right next to us and could have picked up the plates. Second - as she handed us our check, she also handed us the tackiest laminated card that informed us we must pay an additional 3% due to rising credit card processing fees. I was shocked. I'm no expert but I think that is illegal. We should have been informed when we sat down, before we ordered that there was an additional fee. That's a very poor way to do business. Needless to say, we won't be eating at this restaurant again and recommend against eating at Venucci.
"Venucci - Fine Food, Relaxed Atmoshpere." The food is not fine. The plain and simple truth is that it is plain and simple and overpriced. The atmosphere is perhaps too relaxed for the price with shoddy vinyl tablecloths, lazy waitresses, and heavy-handed use of dried oregano.
If you own or manage Venucci, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.