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“TERRIBLE!!”
Review of Fortino's Bistro - CLOSED

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Fortino's Bistro
Cuisines: American
Restaurant details
Appleton, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“TERRIBLE!!”
Reviewed May 27, 2013

I saw this restaurant advertised on Fox 11 Living with Amy and decided to give it a try due to Amy saying that they had great upper scale cuisine. When we first parked and saw the restaurant front, it was strange how they had a sign that was hanging like a banner....strange for an upper scale restaurant. I looked past it and walked inside to smell one of the strongest cat urine smells I have ever smelled. I should have walked out the door and ran, but instead decided to still give the restaurant a try. The interior was very unsatisfying and did not appeal to me at all. Brick walls, random small pictures on the walls, small bar with wine bottles all standing on the counter and French doors that lead to a back area that was undone and all messy. The bathrooms are also located behind the French doors which is strange why they don't have that side of the restaurant done up nicely for their customers. The chef/owner (Fortino) approached our table and asked what we were having for drinks but said it in a way that made you "think" it was on the house (I can't remember his exact words). I knew better and said I would have water and he rudely said "You cannot have water! What else would you like to drink?!" Again I told him water and he gave a rude smirk and walked away. A waiter delivered our waters and gave us the menus. OMG! OVERPRICED!!!!!!!!!! We almost died!! My favorite restaurant in the Appleton area is Carmella's Bistro, which is a little more expensive but SOOOOOO worth the price. At Carmella' you can get a superb scallop dinner for about $23 or so, here they were wanting $30! All of their steaks are $35 or more! We decided to go with the 5 course meal which was $38 because Fortino kept saying that he would make us a delicious meal we would never forget. Let's just say we left an hour later VERY HUNGRY. The 5 courses consisted of the following: #1--spring mix salad tossed in EVOO with candied orange pieces #2--tablespoon of goat cheese with marinara over the top #3--One piece of butterflied shrimp, pan fried, over a strange tasting fruit salad with a horribly spicy sauce that tasted awful #4--5 slices of New York Strip steak (with lots of fat) over garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus #5--2 tablespoons of cheesecake with raspberry and caramel sauce on the side All of this for $38????????? The amount of food they gave us was unbelievably small!!! I have to say the ONLY things appetizing were the goat cheese, mashed potatoes and cheesecake. VERY UNIMPRESSED I told the restaurant manager that I didn't enjoy them giving a horribly spicy dish as one of the courses because not everyone enjoys extremely spicy food and her answer was "let them know next time to not make yours spicy since you can't handle it because Fortino likes to cook with his spices" Terrible thing to say to your paying customers that pay $38 to eat at your restaurant!! She went on to say that it is too empty and they need more customers and to pass on the word about this restaurant. I WILL BE GLAD TO PASS THE WORD ON TO OTHER PEOPLE: PASS ON THIS RESTAURANT AND SPEND YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY ELSEWHERE

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank smitssss9552
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

17 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    9
    1
    0
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    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
“Worth a Visit”
Reviewed May 22, 2013

Ate at Fortino's on Saturday May 18 with friends. We looked at the menu and then walked to Cena's and looked at their menu, and the choice was easy; Fortino's looked much more appetizing. Everything that we ordered was very good: The salmon was cooked perfect and fresh tasting, the grouper was tender and fresh and the bone in ribeye was not only cooked a perfect medium, it had so much flavor there was no need for a choice of sauce that was offered. The prices are a bit high ($35 for steak), but the quality was worth it. My only criticism is that the front of the house was a bit messy, and the walk to the washroom in the back of the house showed what a mess a kitchen can become: Dishwashers hanging out, silverware everywhere, it just showed poorly for such a nice meal. Also, it is an open kitchen, so it was quite warm inside.

I get the feeling that the Chef is trying the concept out before he really invests in the restaurant as they also seemed understaffed for a Saturday night.

Overall, definitely worth a visit for dinner.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank flip_wilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great new restaurant”
Reviewed April 20, 2013

I had the pleasure of dining at Fortino's last night. 3 friends and I went in for wine and appetizers before attending an event. It was magnificent. We were given a surprise hors d'oeuvre.We ordered crab cakes and all had a salad. I had the nicoise salad. It was out of this world. We did not order dessert but were given a crepe with cartelized orange slices on it. I can't wait to go back for a full dinner experience. It is a welcomed new restaurant in a city that has only a handful of fine dining establishments.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TMamad1931
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Appleton WI
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Where do I begin.....?”
Reviewed April 12, 2013

Went with a group of girlfriends - we repeatedly requested menus, Fortino himself said "don't worry about it.....it's all taken care of" - immediately waiters appeared with the first of the 7-course tasting meal. The miniscule portions were tasty, but not worth the $58 per person price --- especially since WE DIDN'T ORDER IT and WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE A MENU AND ORDER ANYTHING ELSE!!!!! Fortino was suddenly nowhere to be found. There were a lot of other improper tactics and behaviors employed by Fortino and his waitstaff. I'll gladly discuss them with anyone who wishes to contact me.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Stella S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
appleton, WI
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Big city bistro food and atmosphere with great service in Appleton”
Reviewed April 7, 2013

I read about this new bistro in our local newspaper and decided to try it. The atmosphere is warm and modern, with great exposed brick walls and tables with white linen table clothes. The chef's were preparing food in their tall hats in an open kitchen, which I liked as well.The staff was friendly and welcoming, and the service was wonderful throughout our meal.

The menu may be considered limited to some, but that's the way I like it. There were plenty of seafood and steak choices. Everything is ala carte, or you can choice to have the chef's choice in multi-course options. There were 4 of us dining, and we all loved our choices. It is not cheap, but it is a dining experience, and I felt it was worth it. We will plan to return soon.

This is restaurant is different than most of Appleton's other high end establishments, and it reminds me of places we're dined in San Francisco or Chicago, without the pretentiousness.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank noni2lily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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