So, it was our first night in Reykjavík and we were looking for a nice, simple meal to start our trip. After a glance at TripAdvisor and a walk along Laugavegur, we settled on Caruso. This is one of those large, themed restaurants that always seem busy. I immediately liked the decor and ambience, the atmosphere seemed nice and, as I previously mentioned, it was very busy, which I always think is a good sign. We were seated immediately at a table with a nice view of the street. It all looked very positive.
The menu is pretty standard; pasta, pizza, meat courses and standard Italian deserts. The wine list was quite limited, with all alcoholic drinks bearing the usual high Icelandic prices. We ordered a couple of pizzas and some wine. This was where it began to go wrong. The service was horrible. Our waiter was the most uninterested person I've met in a long time. 'Service with a smile' this was not, try 'service with a sigh and a scowl'. The next problem was that all of the tables around us that had arrived after us (in some cases fifteen to twenty minutes later) got their food before us. There was absolutely no explanation for this, and our waiter seemed to be making a conscious effort to avoid us.
When the food did arrive, I was less than impressed. I have never eaten a pizza like this one. The crust and the underside of the base were burnt to a crisp, whilst the toppings were completely undercooked. How they managed to achieve this seemingly impossible feat is beyond me, but it wasn't very nice. I can only assume that the pizzas are all made as plain 'margheritas', with the toppings added after the cooking. In any case, it was pretty bad.
It had, by this point, become evident that Caruso is nothing more than a tourist trap. We began to notice the lack of local voices among the diners, which now seems unusual as all of the other restaurants we visited in Reykjavík had a fairly even mix of clientele. This place was full of other tourists, including some who insisted on taking flash photographs of each other every few minutes. But I suppose I can't blame the restaurant for that.
I had intended to order a desert, however I was so disappointed with the quality of the food and so disgusted with the standard of the service that I didn't bother. The time came for our surly waiter to return in order to take payment. Still no smile. I wouldn't return and certainly wouldn't recommend this place. Avoid.
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