Well where do I start? We should really have seen the signs from the moment we
sat down but unfortunately hindsight is a wonderful thing. Three of us were wandering through Rome on a warm September’s evening looking for a place to have an evening meal - we were ushered to a pleasant al fresco table at Caffe Accademia by a, certainly enthusiastic, waiter. Initially the service was polite. We ordered bread, oils and drinks. I can recall looking at the menu and thinking “oh, those prices are a little on the expensive side, but we’ll go with it as it seems a pleasant little outfit.” The, too-enthusiastic by now, waiter soon returned with our bread and drinks and we ordered out starters and main meals. Again, at this point, all seemed to be progressing well and there were no real issues. Approximately 20 minutes later our food arrives, but what’s this I see - our starters and our main courses are on the same plate? That’s not normal is it? “Oh no, it is normal” we’re assured by Mr Over-Enthusiastic. “Well no it isn’t - can we have them separately?” we protest. “No” is the categorical response we receive. It seems that the customer isn’t always right in Caffe Accademia! “You don’t understand how food is meant to be served!” he drones to us.
OK, we’ll go with it…again. We had realised that the waiter was probably attempting to get rid of us quicker so that he could have the table back and get more diners sat and fed. Maybe takings are down…? Hmmm, I can’t imagine why...anyway, I decide that I’m going to take twice as long to eat my special Caffe Accademia starter/main continental combination (look out for it at an appaling restaurant near you soon!) because of this. I manage to spend 50 minutes eating my starter/main and also decided to pretend to choke a piece of meat when they were trying to attract business from passing trade. It worked quite well actually and it irritated Mr Annoyingly-Enthusiastic a lot so I found that even more amusing.
By the time we’d all finished we had decided enough was enough and, slightly irritated by the poor service and average food, we asked for the bill. Well that didn’t work because the waiter we asked said that he wasn’t the one looking after our table…so, oh no, here comes Mr Idiotically-Enthusiastic again who presents us with the bill.
This is the point where I choke for real on plain and simple air. The total cost for a meal consisting of:
o 3 Drinks (x2 Coke, x1 Wine)
o 3 Starters (x3 Bruchette)
o 3 Mains (x1 Lasagne, x2 Steaks)
Comes to E143.00 including service (We did ask what service we had actually been provided with during the course of the meal but I think he pretended not to understand English for that one.)
Now, I’m fully aware that all the prices were on display and that we could have achieved the total cost of the meal ourselves. Except, as far as I was concerned:
o We weren’t presented with separate starters and mains - it was a main with a side. So why should be charged for two different courses?
o We were charged for the wrong Steaks - I asked for ‘number 31’ on the menu (being E16.00) and we were charged for ‘number 36’ (being E21.00). Mr Twattingly-Annoying didn’t accept this and said we were lying.
o The pricing was not displayed in a clear way on the menus.
So, we question the price and are told that we have to pay in full and we cannot pay without the service charge, which is compulsory. So, that’s another “No”. Then, when we protest more, he calls the police and we are left with little choice but to pay the whole bill to avoid any more trouble.
Despite what other reviewers say, pricing is not by any means normal as the three other evening meals we had in Rome were all of a superior culinary quality and were all cheaper. We dined at Est. Est. Est. Pizzeria on Via Genova which for 3 courses came to E68 with good food and good service. We also dined at the Hotel Quirinale’s restaurant on 2 nights and had delicious food with good service. Again, these meals came to E81 and E121 respectively - cheaper and of a much higher quality.
Let’s just say that when I Googled ‘Caffe Accademia’ I wasn’t surprised to find pages of 1 star ratings and reviews. To those who say “this place deserves a nice review” I completely disagree but, I guess, you were just lucky. To those reviewers and to quote a popular phrase “quit while you’re ahead” - don’t go back!
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.