Went to Ciuccio a fortnight ago for a bit of a romantic Saturday dinner out. We've been here at least five times or so in the past but we were surprised to discover when we got our menus that the place is under new management; same owners as Mezethes Greek restaurant, which is just across Salamanca Square. The waiter that served us for most of the meal was obviously new to the place and perhaps to the waiting profession in general - very unsure of sequence-of-service, clearly totally unfamiliar with the menu and wine list (had to point to every item we ordered and even doing that twice he wrote the wrong dish down) and lacking any confidence. Was really not good service at all; I felt very sorry for the guy because he clearly hadn't received the necessary training and familiarisation with the menu, which is frankly unacceptable in a (reasonably) upmarket restaurant. This was not the waiter's fault, let me emphasise that - he was obviously embarrassed with his lack of knowledge. Staff should know each dish, what it's made up of, which wines they have, which they sell by-the-glass and, most importantly, what each dish is like to eat! It's so important for staff to know their menu inside-out, otherwise a professional level of service it does not afford.
When our meals came, after all the confirming and re-confirming what we actually wanted to order, one of the meals was wrong AND both our glasses of wine were wrong too. I had pasta (can't remember which one exactly) but it was very bland, VERY oily and the pasta itself was very, very over-cooked. I ordered a vegetarian pasta dish and discovered at least four pieces of salami and chorizo in the sauce! Luckily I'm not actually a vegetarian! Really, we're not that fussy (despite how this may read!) but overcooking pasta in an Italian restaurant is unacceptable. In terms of menu choices, a fairly good range of options available; pasta, pizzas and other entree and main courses. My partner had a pizza which was very dry, base overcooked and toppings fairly sparse. It was overpriced too - $35 for a very simple pasta dish (main course pasta used to be $20-$25 before change of management) is only acceptable if the pasta is handmade and the sauce is comprised of more high-quality ingredients; this dish was really just a napoli sauce with a few other, basic ingredients.
So, we ate and got out of there fairly quickly, leaving disappointed. Another Hobart restaurant that has gone downhill. Such a shame. Service from Scott (working behind the bar and at the till was great - I've had the pleasure of his service at Mezethes a few times in the past and he's always super-professional, very friendly, attentive and very knowledgeable which is how waitstaff should be. Won't be going back.
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