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Review of La Porta Rossa at Mario's - CLOSED

La Porta Rossa at Mario's
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed June 27, 2012

THis was our first trip to this restaurant since the new owners took over. The service was certainly well below normal standards with one waitress attempting to handle 10 tables. The waitress had to be reminded that she took meal orders from only three out of our four if us. The meals ranged from non-descript to blah. One of our group ordered a stuffed ravioli which tasted like it was infused with a mint toothpaste, Gleam comes to mind. Another meal was Orecchiette with sausage and clams. The pasta appeared to be coated with a sand like substance, perhaps the clams weren't washed properly. As a tooth whitener, the grit would would suffice but certainly not fitting for an Italian Pasta dish. The owner did provide a discount to us to entice us to come back in order for them to give us another chance at providing a perfect dining experience. Probably not

1  Thank smeadman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (36)
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15 - 19 of 36 reviews

Reviewed June 11, 2012

I ate at Mario's before La Porta Rossa and the food was good but lacked creativity and innovation in my opinion. When La Porta Rossa opened up, I couldn't wait to try it as my husband and I love The Red Door wine market, and I believe it is the same owner. We have eaten at La Porta Rossa three times. The first time we ordered take out, unfortunately I don't remember the exact meal, my husband had duck and I had fish, both were excellent. I also ordered a caesar salad, the croutons were wonderful but the to-go salad had the dressing already on it and it was drenched to the point nobody could enjoy it. The second time we ate there we dined in. The service was excellent. They offered us a small appetizer, a spoonful of fried ravioli or mozzarella, again I don't exactly remember but it was very, very good. The most recent time we ate there was the other night. It was about 8pm on a Saturday night, they were pretty busy but there were several empty tables. There was nobody at the hostess station, so we waited for several minutes until we were noticed and seated. We sat at our table for five minutes looking at the menus, and the bartender decided to come help us. He told us our waiter would be with us shortly and he got our drinks. Five more minutes later the bartender came over to tell us about the specials. He described the cap steak as a piece of the ribeye, similar to a filet, sitting on top of gorgonzola mashed potatoes with a cabernet reduction. It sounded good so I ordered that. My husband got the chicken stack with prosciutto, spinach and cheese. When dinner was served I was presented with a plate of sliced steak on top of spaghetti and I was very confused, thinking I received someone else's dinner. When the bartender came to check on us, he asked how everything was and I told him I was confused about my dinner, I didn't think it was what I ordered. He said he accidentally pushed the wrong button on the screen and he ordered me the steak carbonara. He said the chef was making the gorgonzola mashed potatoes and he would bring them out shortly...I tried to explain to him that the presentation of my food was completely wrong and that I wouldn't eat mashed potatoes with pasta..so he offered to box them up. The steak tasted good and I was starving..did not want to ask that my food was re-made the way I ordered and have to wait for it to cook but that was never offered to me anyway. The presentation of my meal looked like something that might come from Applebee's. The spaghetti had several chewy pieces of pasta stuck together and the carbonara sauce, although tasty, had large one inch chunks of bacon fat throughout my pasta..at first I did not even know what they were, knowing they were too gooey to be potatoes, until the waiter told me it was carbonara and I knew it was fat..that was a bit unappetizing in itself. I understand bacon and bacon fat are the flavors for carbonara but I would remove one inch diced chunks of pure fat from somebody's plate before serving it. I asked my husband how his meal was and he said it was a 'pretty good piece of fried chicken.' The bartender (he ended up being our waiter) came over to the table later and asked if we had any nut allergies, to which we stated no, and he offered us complimentary creme brulee. We were pretty full but we stopped eating, as I adore creme brulee. It came out as a congealed square slab on a white plate with a piece of thin peanut brittle and diced mangoes on top. Not exactly what I was expecting with creme brulee. I was disappointed that the creme brulee had no caramelized sugar on top as I am used to, the thin peanut brittle was not a comparable substitute for me and the presentation was unappetizing. The taste of the custard was mediocre, but my husband reminded me it was free so to just be happy with it. All in all, I enjoy the variety of creative, gourmet selections on the menu and that it changes. I am disappointed with the inconsistency of presentation and experience. The restaurant is cozy and could be a nice place to go for a date. I have two children myself and have nothing against families but I was surprised to go out on my date night Saturday at 8pm and see so many children at this restaurant. It is also a little pricey, depending on what you order entrees run from $17-25, so I expect a decent experience when I go and based on my recent visit, not sure that I will be back anytime soon.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank kellokitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2012

Good food, good service in a warm setting. The bisque was tasty, the entrees good, and the wine was delicious. Prices were a little higher than we expected.

Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2012

Quiet location. Warmly welcomed on arrival and seated promptly. Nice low key atmosphere.
Fried calamari appetizer was tasty but a little too chewy. Bread and citrus butter were terrific.
All of the entrees were well presented and delicious. Sangria was great. However, the service was
terrible - we waited forever for our entrees and then had to pay a 20% gratuity for service that was not exceptional. Too expensive for the value received.

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

Way Too expensive. Everything was served with grits. You didn't get your moneys worth and went away hungry.

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

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