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“Bad Experience”
Review of Allegro Ristorante

Allegro Ristorante
Ranked #33 of 175 Restaurants in Altoona
Price range: $12 - $40
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Serving fine dining Italian cuisine since 1978! We've got the best recipes for good times - anytime. With homemade Italian specialties sure to please every appetite... fresh seafood, veal, steaks, homemade pasta, chicken, and more. Early dinner for two special and family-style dining for groups available. Reservations welcome, not required.
Reviewed September 10, 2012

My wife and I went to the Allegro restuarant on a Friday night. We had high expectations of this establishment as we were told that it was the best restaurant in Altoona.
Right out of the gate we were placed in a booth where the wall paper had started to peel at the level of where the food would be. We then began to experience a waitress whose rather terse demeanor left both of us a little cold.

We were of the understanding that a three course meal would be 40 dollars, but she bluntly explained that was for a time between 4 to 6 pm. We then viewed the menu to make another selection. My wife selected the beef tips and was promptly told by the waitress that they were out. We were getting an even worse vibe then when we came in. So we decided to leave.

The waitress then stated to me just as I was about to exit the restuarant that the kitchen would be able to make the beef tips, though it would take more time to do so. I then, mistakenly, talked my wife into staying and giving this waitress another chance.

After looking the menu over once again, I chose the chicken picata and my wife opted for another dish; the chicken marsala. When the food arrived, the chicken picata was well prepared and tasted good, the chicken marsala, according to my wife was awful. It was overcooked and tough. I tasted it and was amazed that something so bad could come from a supposedly fine restuarant.

We explained this to the waitress, who by the way was behaving defensively by this time. My wife ordered the chicken picata and to our amazement this so-called professional waitress brought out a half order of the chicken picata, assuming the the measely three bites eaten from the previous dish would warrant such a reduction.

This is when I could not tolerate such blatently unprofessional behavior. I demanded that the waitress bring the other portion, which she did. She gave a lip-service apology as she handed us the bill, though her insincerity served to anger me even more. If I had to do it over again I would have demanded a different server. This particular server would have made any experience in any restaurant an unfortunate event. Added to the additional injury of a 60 dollar bill for 14 ounces of chicken.

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6  Thank mark m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 - 36 of 53 reviews

Reviewed September 9, 2012

We went to the Allegro this Friday, the 6th of September. We had been in Altoona for almost two weeks and had been told that it was one of the best restaurants in town. In the hotel, we were promised a ten percent discount to that and several other local restaurants.

The exterior looked a bit like a charming French restaurant near my home, in Bethesda, MD. The inside is old fashioned, which is fine, but we were sitting in a booth with wallpaper coming off at the seam, at the level of our table and food.

We also had gone there for the $40.00 couples special; three courses for that price. The waitress briskly pointed out that this is only for 4pm to 5pm. Yet, had we brought two other people, we would have been allowed to eat "family style" with prices even less than that for a complete meal.
I ordered the filet mignon tips and was told that "that's the only thing that we're out of tonight."

We had a bad vibe from the waitress and looked at the atrociously high prices and stepped out to leave. However, when my husband went back for the umbrella I had left, the waitress asked that we give them another try. She promised that we could have the filet mignon tips dish (I forget the name). We did sit down again- that was our next mistake!

My husband ordered the chicken picatta and I ordered the chicken marsala with escargot. The escargot was overcooked and tough (they come in a can or frozen; how did they do that?). The chicken was overcooked to the point of being threads of tough chicken rather than a tender, succulent piece of $17.00 chicken. The marsala sauce was watery. It's supposed to have some body. My husband's piccata was good. I tasted his, then he asked for the waitress to replace my chicken with the same one that he had ordered. I had eaten two bites of the horrible, dry chicken marsala. She brought back a half portion of the piccata. My husband was outraged! Reticently, the waitress brought me another (undercooked this time) half of the piccata order. In a chain, such as Ruby Tuesdays, or Olive Garden, we would have had more veggies as well as the meat; here, it was implied that my two mouthfuls of the other dish meant that I should have only one half a portion, and certainly with no decorative veggies or anything else on the plate.

We had eaten in many wonderful restaurants in Altoons where if there had been a problem, the manager would have helped immediately. In even the diners the staff was pleasant and helpful; especially in the diners. Now we have two problems (no filet mignon tips and tough chicken with a watery sauce) and never did we see a manager; not even when the watiress came to the table with the sixty dollar check, saying, "I know there have been lots of problems with your meal."

We will never return to the overrated, overpriced place where we certainly did not even feel welcome. By the way, apparently some of the waiters are good; we overheard that "The service was impeccable" from someon who left the room where there was a large party. They must have gotten the best servers that night.

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4  Thank Kaaren A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

Went for a birthday dinner, hadn't been there for several years. What a disappointment! One of us had the crab cakes dinner, the other had stuffed shrimp scampi. Our bill totaled nearly $60 (no drinks, just the meal). To our SHOCK, they charged EXTRA for salad that SHOULD have come with the meal. I still have trouble believing that an upper class (?) restaurant would charge you extra for your salad. How cheap can they get??? And to say nothing of the cheesy decor. Have a look at the curtains in the main dining room, awful! Sad to say, what once was once a nice place to eat for a special occasion, is no longer that. This was definitely our LAST trip there. If you want good Italian, try Lena's or Luigetta's in Altoona, you won't be disappointed or ROBBED at gunpoint!

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2  Thank Sammy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2012

My wife and I recently went to the Allegro. The hostess tried to seat us where the server traffic would be annoying. We asked the waitress if we could be moved and we changed seats. The hostess showed up and said that our new table was 'reserved' for customers that always dined at the table we chose (no reservation sign on the table). So we moved once again to a table near a dividing wall. This was at least semi-private. (No one ever showed up to the 2nd table before we left.) I had French onion soup which had soggy bread and was extremely hot as if it had been left under the broiler too long or the bread was of very inferior quality. The taste of the soup was excellent. My entree was veal and that was Ok. Decor was mostly good aside from plastic flowers. For 1 glass of wine, dessert, entree and soup, the bill plus tip was $120 for 2. Complimentary chef dish was Ok.

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1  Thank DarnYankee Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2012

I went to the Allegro with my Prom date in 1994. I think the same plastic flowers filling the dining area were still there when I visited last year. The interior felt really old and tired. The food was okay. We order a bruscetta. It was ok, but WAY overpriced. We have not been back since. If they revamp the interior and overhaul the menu, we may try it again.

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

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