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“Strip mall surprise”

Roma Ristorante - Allentown
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Ranked #12 of 482 Restaurants in Allentown
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Airport Road
Reviewed September 4, 2012

We went with friends from Allentown who raved about Roma--they are usually "right on" but I still suffer from" strip mall itis" Roma was a most pleasant surprise, we ordered four different menu choices and enjoyed four excellent meals. Chef prepared salmon with oranges, raising, and grand manier--WOW. The others had more traditional Italian food and their reaction was the same. The waiter really knew and enjoyed talking about the food and it's preparation. He served us some delicious hot bread while talking about the night's menu selection--this is where I first started to feel good about the meal we were going to have and was not disappointed.

Although we live an hour away we will definitely be going back!

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Thank shaynashayna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 - 149 of 163 reviews

Reviewed September 1, 2012

I went to the restaurant after a friend raved about it. Our waiter was very friendly and knew the menu very well, but really missed too many things. We were there for an early dinner, so the place wasn't that busy. It took a long time for the bread, then I explained that we only had 2 sets of bread plates and napkins for the 4 of us. I had to remind him twice, so we ended up sharing plates and napkins for the bread, which is a pain when you are dipping it! The bread was fabulous. Our drinks were frequently refilled, but salad and dinner certainly took a while. My husband's dinner came without the lobster tail in the seafood scampi he had ordered, but he ate the dinner without mentioning his disappointment until the end. When I did tell the waiter, he went to the kitchen. They confirmed that the lobster tail had been left off and we were told that they could send us home with the lobster tail or adjust the price (but didn't say by how much.) We chose to take the lobster tail home, but that certainly isn;t the same as having it with the dinner. The waiter, who knew the menu so well, should have noticed. My husband thought perhaos the lobster was in the scampi and he just didn't see any. I think my dinner was too oily and too salty. One last little comment is that for pricier Italian restaurant, I can't believe they have parmesan cheese in a shaker instead of fresh grated. Even The Olive Garden has that. Anyway, after a $115 bill (for 4) that included 2 plain pasta meals and no alcohol or dessert, I wouldn't return.

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Thank cdtschachter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2012

Excellent food, excellent and very knowledgeable service!

Thank Rich P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

I specifically made a pick of Roma's based on the reviews previously existing on TA, and I was eager to give it a try. Initial impressions were reasonable. There was decent ambiance, especially for a strip mall location. The wait staff was noticeably attentive, and my reservation was honored immediately. I was especially elated to find my favorite dish listed among the specials for the night.

From there, everything was sort of .... okay. Of all the saltimbocca I have enjoyed across the country, mine was probably the most uninspiring. It wasn't bad, and the portion was more than suitable. It seemed to lack panache compared to servings I have had in numerous Little Italy sections among various cities. My dining partner's scampi appeared to have been made very well, and was quite pleased with it. Probably my greatest alarm was the marinara sauce for my cappellini. Seriously. Canned tomatoes for sauce in July? I had hoped for something more reflective of the freshness of the season, and tomatoes in the markets now are bursting with flavor.

The "wine list" deserves it's very own paragraph. Knowing and fully appreciating Italian wines, and how they enhance dishes of the cuisine, I fully expected a more appropriate list. Someone unexperienced with Italian wines would have to guess that only chianti is native red grape. I'll give them some credit for having a brachetto d'aqui available, even if it is in the most mass produced version available. Just because people like merlots and cabernets doesn't mean you can't at least have a couple montepulcianos or valpolicellos available.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh on my overall experience at Roma. The reviews listed on TA had me expecting something bordering on exquisite food. Instead placed on an overall scale of all experiences I have had within this cuisine type, it is a solid middle of the road. Being this close to New York, there has to be better options available.

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1  Thank Jeremy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2012

Roma has the BEST Roman pizza and mozzarella salad. The prices are fabulous and the portions huge. Don't miss the cooking class..it is a blast.

Thank judi5775
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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