Tried this restaurant based upon the many good reviews; party of 6, including two teen-age girls.
The food was acceptable and the portions were large. When the main courses arrived, they were hot, presented well, and tasty. While this is not the "best" Italian food by a long-shot, the food-related comments are valid. Appetizers, salads, and entrees were filling and they offer half-portions for those who like to try a variety without filling up on a single item. The deserts were exceptional although it looks like they are store-bought as the desert menu looks like a Denny's picture book.
The service was another story. By my count there were 12 tables occupied and 3 servers working, including the owner. With such low volume, it took 20-minutes to get an order started, 45 minutes for salads and appetizers to arrive (25 minutes from the time they were ordered), 75 minutes for the main course, and a 7:00 pm dinner reservation became a two and one-half-hour experience. Our server, handling 4 tables, was not very attentive and was quite rude at times when we requested drink refills, prior course plate settings removed, water refills, or additional cheese, spice, etc. At times, she became hostile.
When it came time to pay, we were charged a 20% gratuity, even though 2 at our table were teen age-girls who ate practically nothing. Not mind paying a reasonable tip, added-in automatically, but I expect better service for it. Be forewarned - the menu's small print indicates this yet no such notation is made on the restaurant's web site, on OpenTable, or the myriad of venues where this place advertises.
We also had a $25 off coupon which the server took from our table about 20 minutes before bringing the final check, yet she forget to deduct it from the cost of the meal. When this was brought to her attention, she grabbed the check-folder from my hand and made some snippity remark. She came back with $25 deducted from the bottom-line total which was wrong; the $25 should have come off the meal, thus reducing both the already-outrageous AZ sales tax and the automatic 20% tip. I was told this is how the owner does this [which is sales tax fraud, since no doubt he reports the lower sale and pockets the 9% tax collected from the coupon]. When I mentioned this was unacceptable, there was a shouting match across the restaurant - the owner wouldn't even come over to either explain or fix it - and the server kept saying this was not her fault, making even more snippity comments.
And, by the way, we were charged for drink (lemonade and soda) refills...a complete rip-off.
Overall, the food was acceptable and we tried to give a local, family-owned eatery a chance, instead of going to one of the larger Italian "chains" - Maggiano's is right across North Scottsdale Road. Instead, we were treated with a high level of disrespect and contempt, yet we were far from "high maintenance" diners.
These sorts of experiences are the large chain's best advertising - We will never go back to La Torretta and rate this restaurant poor, mainly because of the service and the charges; it would be "terrible" but the food was actually pretty good.
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