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“I don't understand”
Review of La Famiglia - CLOSED

La Famiglia
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed August 24, 2012

This restaurant has either serious identity problems or someone is being economical with the truth. I too have recently visited this restaurant and found both the service and quality to be far below what one would normally accept. I ordered seafood pasta and can only assume that the only seafood to be found in the seas around Nanaimo are clams and there must be a shortage of these as well. My wife asked if the salmon used in the salmon dish was of the wild variety and the reply was ‘I don’t really know’. Despite the fact that there were only 6/8 people in the restaurant I could not understand why the service was so slow and would hate to imagine the scene were there to be a full-house. All in all not an experience I would like to repeat.

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Thank boyoLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (18)
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7 - 11 of 18 reviews

Reviewed August 17, 2012

In the past week I have had the opportunity to go for lunch and dinner at La Famiglia. The gnocchi is the best I have ever had. Like little tastes of heaven. The sambuca prawns are lovely. We have also tried the spaghetti with meat balls and lemon veal. Each was an excellent dish. We loved Dino's warmth. A great restaurant and now on the top of our Nanaimo list of places to eat at.

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Thank Andrewsam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2012

In no shape or form could this be classed as Italian - which Italian restaurant would serve up a cheese pizza with a few raw vegetables on top and claim that it is bruchetta???We initially went on a Tuesday evening but found it closed despite the claim that it opened 7 days a week. We then made the mistake of going the next night when,unfortunately, it was open. I cannot explain how bad the food was - the recipes were wrong, the ingredients were wrong and the result was inedible. Two of the four main courses were sent back virtually untouched and whilst the waitress was most apologetic and reported our concerns to the owner he refused to discuss it. The place was empty when we arrived and this should have forewarned us. Keep well clear of this place!!!!

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2  Thank Dezza21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

Two years ago we discovered the Grapevine Trattoria in Nanaimo and fell in love with the food and the staff. Returning this year, we were disappointed to learn that it had closed but happy to learn that a new Italian restaurant had opened next door. We took a chance and our party of 6 trekked up through the rain from the marina. Only Dino (plus one other helper in the kitchen) and his daughter were there and it was a busy night so service was extremely slow. The Caprese salad was very disappointing but the smoked salmon penne was excellent. The two seafood pastas were not as described, lacking fish and heavy on clams, but the flavors were very good. We realized that the restaurant had not been open long and will give it another chance whenever we return.

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Thank topsie2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2012

I visited La Famiglia a few weeks ago, as we had heard that Dino (formerly of Maffao's) had opened another restaurant. On this occasion, the restaurant was perhaps half full. Our server, who is Dino's daughter, was excellent, and attentive. I had Bruschetta, and Gnocchi, which were both very good. On our return visit, however, I found I was not quite as impressed. The restaurant was full, and perhaps this added to the service being a little less attentive. The food not what I had expected. The bread, balsamic vinegar and oil is a lovely bridge while waiting for food on an empty stomach. However, on this evening I decided on the Caprese Salad and Penne Con Pollo e Funghi, my friends had the Halibut special. (which they said was very good!) I have had Caprese Salad countless times, and in Italy as well. First of all, the tomatoes were awful, (not ripe, not Hot House, and even Roma would have been better) and I was expecting a nice thick sweet Balsamic drizzled on top. Nada. The pasta was barely warm, dry, and tasted like it came out of a Catelli Box. The fresh Parmesan was not grated, but of the prebagged powder variety. Most disappointing. The wine menu is decent, and I'm sure a work in progress, as with any new restaurant. For desert, we decided to share Creme Brule, which should have had a sugar crusted burnt top. What we got was Creme Caramel.

I will revise the number of stars I award, when I give La Famaglia a third chance. Of note, as I have seen in several reviews, is the atmosphere. While we all realize this is a "business in progress", the chairs are indeed awful, and hopefully one day will be replaced with some that are a little more authentic, and the bar updated from the portable pea green color on wheels. Please also give us patrons the pleasure of some air movement by either opening up the upper windows for some much needed cross ventilation, or at least turn on the ceiling fan. It was a bit of a sauna in there, especially with a full house.

All in all, I am willing to give Dino another chance. He has some growing pains, to be sure, but this is not his first venture.

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

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