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“Disappointed and disrespectful staff”
Review of La Bella Napoli

La Bella Napoli
Ranked #87 of 565 Restaurants in Stoke-on-Trent
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $27
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
Reviewed January 16, 2014

I chose and booked this restaurant for our pre theatre meal for two reasons - a) the reviews on here, b) the menu appeared to be able to cater for my friend's strict diet. At the moment she can only eat meat and vegetables. No carbs, dairy, etc.
On arrival, it seemed very busy for 5.30 on a Sat night but we had booked so I was not concerned. We were taken to the upstairs seating area which was quite traditional and seemed pleasant enough. It took a good 10mins for them to take an order from us, and even when asking questions about the menu, we got quite curt replies. However, the waitress did her best at this point, despite seeming harassed and brought the wine (for me) and the water (for friend) in a reasonable time. Once we had decided to just have a main course we thought it would be fairly straightforward. I selected a steak in sauce with fries and my friend selected a fillet with veg. The options on the menu are: Potatoes, salad OR VEG. On reading this you would assume if you choose veg, you get a medley of vegetables considering the options presented to you.
Despite getting my fries after 45mins, the meals did not come. Over an hour later the waitress comes back to inform us that our meals had been given to somebody else. Human error, indeed, (as she pointed out) but as we were on a tight schedule and had only ordered a main it seemed a long wait and we were hungry and anxious. It took another 10mins for the fries to be taken away as I said I wanted fresh ones with my meal. When the food eventually came, it was mediocre and cold. We were so hungry though as it was now 7pm that we ate it. My fries came a bit after and were very hot but undercooked and my friend's veg were carrots and POTATOES. Yes, we realise Potatoes are veg (as the waitress patronisingly pointed out) but they are also carbs and shouldn't be included in a veg option if there is a potato option separately. so she could not eat that part either.
On asking for the bill, in a rush, they said they'd taken the wine off for our wait which I felt wasn't fair on my friend as she had been charged £3 for a sparkly water and hadn't had wine, and the food was not worth £18 for a main course after the wait, the temperature of it and the fact that we hadn't eaten the fries (raw) or the veg. However, once informed it was the best she could do and the waitress rolling her eyes and stomping off, we waited another 10mins for the card machine. no one came back. We made a joke about them clearly not being desperate for payment. Eventually someone on the table next to us said you pay downstairs, something which had not been mentioned by the grumpy waitress.
We got downstairs and I was saying to my friend that I felt bad that they didn't knock anything off hers and asking if she was going to complain further. We then overheard one of the waitresses on the till making derogatory comments about us in Italian (we both understand Italian very well) who then accused us to our faces of never intending on paying. We were stunned by her rudeness as we asked for the bill ages before. Had we not intended on paying, we would have left. And how dare someone speak to a customer like that. We had been treated in a patronsing, disrespectful and inconsiderate manner from the moment my friend asked questions about the menu owing to her diet. The error of food being late ultimately, although this was a pain, was not my issue with this place but the snide comments about my friend's diet, the Italian comments behind our back and then being accused of that. I am a manager and if any of my staff behaved in this way, I would be having words and looking into further training. In the end, we paid for our meals and water and left, my friend almost in tears at being looked at and spoken to in such a way. I was so looking forward to the evening out and travelled a long way to dine there before the show. It was lucky the show was good, otherwise the whole evening would have been ruined by what can only be described as disrespectful staff. The young male waiter was very friendly though, I would not like him tarnished with the same brush. I hope they were just having an off day as I know several other parties thought it was terrible there too on that night. (see latest reviews)

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1  Thank Jo P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcela O, Manager at La Bella Napoli, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2014

Thanks for your opinion, we do look at them And as so iI would like to tell you that anyone who has special enquiries about theirs diet first they call us and ask us in advance What the options are since they cannot eat anything! Especially on busy nights! I am afraid to say that when you serving 100 people in one hour and half with starters, mains, sweets and drinks of course you cannot please e everybody!! But at least every one else a part of you because you didnt want butter and we made sure it was a o butter and then you didn't want potatoes that came with the meal because you were allergic but you never said you were when you said about the butter, and and then you felt sorry for paying £2.50 for your water after we gave your half a litre of wine free which I think was fare and if you felt that your friend was in tears to pay £2.50 then I am afraid you should of paid for half of it £1.25 since your wine was free!!

As I say in 29 years we been here we must of been doing something right!

Surely you cannot please everyone!!!! No need to write story about it thou to be fare because everyone is different and we all work hard to try and please most of our customers!

Exaggerating and making the small problem big isn't the solution, I don't think you spoke Italian at all, the thank you.

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125 - 129 of 214 reviews

Reviewed January 12, 2014

A group of friends dined at the restaurant on Saturday evening, having booked a table for
5.30pm. They took our drinks order, then 20 minutes later our starter and main course, two
in the party ordered steaks but they were not asked how they would like them done. After
receiving the starters, we waited 55 minutes for the main course, which was very dissapointing.
Medallions of pork covered in tomato sauce to cover up the very poor quality of meat, one small
bowl of vegetables for four people, no potatoes at all. As we were running out of time, we had to
miss desert and coffee, to go to the theatre. We were not the only customers that had had a bad
experience that night. Very dissapointing, we will certainly not be going back there.

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2  Thank susan h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcela O, Manager at La Bella Napoli, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2014

Thanks for your review! I would like to say that our meat comes from some of the top catering butchers in Staffordshire so the quality is guaranteed to be good. The the sauce we make it ourselves and you are very welcome to come a visit and see us when we make it.!

But of course you cannot please everyone and it depends on what they are use to and what they call good!!! Thank you

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Reviewed January 11, 2014

My husband booked this restaurant as it said it had a pre theatre menu. As we were going to see Ghost with friends at the Regent he felt this would be suitable so booked for 5.30. We arrived just before and was taken to our table upstairs. The place was full which we took as a good sign. Our drinks order was taken and served promptly. We then waited about 10 minutes for them to take our order. Things looked good..... our starters arrived and were fine. Over an hour later after asking twice our mains arrived. What a disappointment, hardly anything to it, a small dish of carrots and potatoes for 4 people. Pork loins covered in what looked like tinned tomatoes, steak with a few mushrooms. Staff not interested when asked for the bill. After waiting for a further 10 minutes we went downstairs and paid the bill. What a waste of money. Will never go back again. We have never had such a bad experience.

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2  Thank ljs111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014 via mobile

Only working up the road at gala this place seemed ideal, we had a slight issue of most of us don't finish work till 10pm which makes booking a Christmas meal hard but la Bella napoli were happy for us to come at 10om and stay open till 1am which was a very nice gesture. On receiving the set theatre menu at work we was a bit disappointed there wasn't a lot a variety on there, but the chef did say we could choice of the the normal menu of we wished, there was 21 of us and we all had atleast 2 course if not 3 and there was not one complaint about any of the food, which is excellent work because to please 1 person is hard to to pleased everyone is fantastic our only fault was how expensive the drinks were but that's the same in and fine dining restaurant, will Deffo be returning at some point in the near future :)

1  Thank cms_1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2013 via mobile

I went with two friends to this Italian restaurant expecting good Italian food. My starter was mushrooms stuffed with scampi and bacon in a pernod sauce - what I received were two small mushrooms stuffed with what looked like breadcrumbs and it did not taste of scampi or bacon. Disappointing. Main course was to be a pizza with ham and mushrooms. The pizza was a lot smaller than the plate and came with a few slices of fresh mushrooms and what they said was ham - I could not taste the ham. Neither of us stayed for dessert. The food was disappointing though the staff were friendly and attentive.

1  Thank AZak_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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