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“very hit or miss, not worth the money” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Casa di Amici

Casa di Amici
2301 Nalo Rd, Poipu, Kauai, HI 96756-9779 (Koloa)
808 742 1555
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Ranked #21 of 33 Restaurants in Poipu
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Eclectic
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dessert, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Koloa
Cross street: Hoone
Emeryville, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“very hit or miss, not worth the money”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2006

I'm loath to give this place a one-dot review -- I'd have given it two dots, but with the key for two dots meaning "okay, but some problems," that wouldn't be an accurate assessment for us.

We had reservations on a night in which the restaurant was half-full. We arrived about 15 minutes early but still weren't seated for about 20 minutes. Despite there being three wait staff for approximately 12 seated tables, service was terrible. Our server was nice enough but hardly ever came around. Now, there are servers who leave you alone, and there are servers who abandon you, and unfortunately she was one of the latter.

But hey, we were there for the food, so let's get to that. The appetizers were the best part, and it went quickly downhill from there: we started with the Hawaiian risotto (basically just risotto and kalua pork) and the soup of the day, a crab chowder. Both were simple and delicious.

For salads we had a mixed greens with goat cheese and a caesar. The caesar was pretty disappointing: very tired lettuce and a bland dressing. But the goat cheese salad was inedible, and my wife barely touched it. (It's also noteworthy that the server didn't acknowledge that we'd rejected it, and it stayed on the bill, something a more attentive server would have attempted to rectify one way or another.)

Our entrees were better but still lackluster. My wife had the signature salmon-and-shrimp dish in which the shrimp was the only decent part, and I had duck leg confit, which had good flavor but soggy texture. Both of our dishes came with a tricolore assortment of garnishes which appeared to meld with the Italian name of the restaurant but had nothing to do with Italian cooking, the entrees they were meant to accompany, or, for that matter, even each other.

The dessert was a tough brownie topped with coconut and passion fruit sorbets, all encased in a meringue that had been raked and torched. It was gorgeous but, again, disappointing.

Overall, we felt that the restaurant seems to try too hard to be gourmet. They'd do better to rein in their influences and menus, though in some cases such as our salads, even simple items were poorly done.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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399 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Terrible service, okay food”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2006

I had dinner at Casa di Amici back in September and the service were terrible. I'm not sure if it was because we were a younger couple or because we didn't make reservations, but we were treated as though we didn't belong there. The busy hostess sneared at us when we told her we didn't have reservations and then she walked away from us with out another word. We were finally seated and looking at the menu when the bartender came over and asked if we would be ordering any drinks. When we told her no, she just took off to the next table and ignored us the rest of the night. Our server took 10 minutes to "greet" us and then asked if we were ready. There was no "Hello, welcome to Casa di Amici would you like to hear about our specials?" though this was the greeting he gave another couple next to us a few minutes after. Overall our expierence was terrible and I would not recommend this place to anyone, especially if you are a younger couple.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Excellent food and a great value”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2006

WOW. We ate at Casa Di Amici twice during the week we spent on Kauai in late September. The food was outstanding both times. The staff were all extremely pleasant and really made us feel like we were regulars.

The food is simply outstanding and an incredible value for Kauai. Most restaurants in Kauai were a little more expensive than what you would find on the mainland, but Casa Di Amici was about the same. And their wine prices were actually cheaper than most restaurants on the mainland. Their average wine markup was only twice the retail cost.

We tried a variety of dishes over the two trips. The signature seafood paella is delicious but really a lot to eat for one person if you have any appetizer or salad. All of the portions were quite large so I would suggest only ordering one appetizer or salad for two people, and an entree each with the understanding that you will, like everyone else, be taking home some leftovers wrapped up in foil. To put the portion size in perspective, let me add that we had hiked about seven miles in Koeke State park the afternoon before we had dinner there, so we were HUNGRY!

The two risotto dishes we tried were also both excellent (especially the southwestern green chile with a real, honest to god homemade flour tortilla) as was the pork tenderloin saltimboca. If you are staying at one of the resorts in Poipu take a pass on the hotel restaurants and go to casa di amici, you will be glad that you did.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
177 helpful votes 177 helpful votes
“Terrible experience, overrated....”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2006

I was excited to try this place after reading reviews here, but couldn't have been more disappointed. First, the wait staff was incredibly overworked and stressed out - after waiting past our reservation to be seated, we got assembly-line service from a harried waitress who took orders from one table after the next. Once we started to relax and enjoy a glass of wine, the waitress asked us to move to a different table on the other side of the restaurant so they could give our table to someone else. THEN, once we settled in in that dark corner, another waiter came by to inform me that the dish I had already ordered (the one I had seen on the menu at our hotel and come to the restaurant specially to try) was not actually available and that I would have to choose something else. The dish I got instead (4-cheese risotto) turned out to be like liquid half-and-half - it was tasty but I got unbelievable heartburn after eating it. Risotto should be made with stock, not heavy cream - yuk! My husband enjoyed his dish, but we would never go back here. There are much better meals and experiences to be had in the Poipu area - try Plantation Gardens or Keoki's Paradise instead!

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bakersfield, CA
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
“Just great food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2006

We met a fellow at the Marriott Poipu, who told us about this restaurant. It's on a side street,(Nalo Rd.), up the road from Brennecke's Beach. We checked out the menu at 9:30 a.m., and the aroma from the kitchen made us want to come back that night! My family of four went and we ate fettucine alfredo with chicken, Thai lobster with white trufflle sauce, veal piccata, and a filet mignon in two delicious sauces; we loved everything! The filet was particularly tender and tasty. We all shared the chocolate torte (a huge slice) for dessert; it was tasty. The prices were reasonable for here; average $22 for each. We would definitely go back there on our next trip!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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