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“Wonderful”
Review of Fiamma Restaurant

Fiamma Restaurant
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Ranked #187 of 2,582 Restaurants in Charlotte
Price range: $29 - $31
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Park Road Ext. and Park Road
Transit: Bus stop is located right in front of the shopping center.
Description: At Fiamma, we believe that an exceptional dining experience begins with the freshest ingredients and most authentic Italian dishes around. From European fish flown in daily to imported Italian meats and cheeses from the finest markets, we aim to take you on a trip straight to Tuscany as soon as you walk in the door. Have a sip of one of our carefully selected wines at the bar or indulge in our classic Osso Bucco or homemade pasta in a cozy and elegant dining room. Delicious food is best paired with the warmest hospitality, so we may welcome you in as a friend, but you’ll leave here as family. We can’t wait to share our Taste of Italy with you, Charlotte!
Reviewed January 29, 2014

Incredibly flavorful and creative Italian. Top-notch, very traditional service. Fiamma continues to affirm my faith in unassuming strip mall restaurants.

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Thank Will E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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112 - 116 of 143 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2014

We were so excited to try Fiamma which has received great praise here in Charlotte. We had reservations for 4 at 7pm tonight and two of our friends were not able to make it so I did the right thing and notified the restaurant this afternoon by leaving a voicemail saying that we would be 2 instead of 4. (The voice mail for the restaurant which I reached at the number published on open table did not identify the restaurant, I called back twice just to be sure!) Knowing this is restaurant week, I did not want them to miss a table. We hit traffic getting to Park Rd., so I called ahead to say we'd be a few minutes late, again - consideration on our part. We arrived at 7:10

When we arrived, the front vestibule light was off, and we confusedly entered a dark doorway - we then entered the dining room with a rush of cold air behind us. I mention this because we were offered one of two tables for two right by this door and throughout the evening every time someone came in the front door, the paper tablecloth blew up backwards on the table. Can you say frigid?

We waited no less than 15 minutes before our waitress said hello and that she would be back. I watched her deliver food, make drinks behind the bar?, and attend to other dining patrons. She came back over, apologized and then we ordered a bottle of Merlot from Sicily. A steward? presented the wine and it was not the one I ordered. I saw him return it to the bar, exchange words with our waitress and then return to the table with the same bottle... as if indicating "It says Merlot, you ordered Merlot, right?" It was not the wine I ordered. He even took his phone out to use the torch app to read the bottle and spun it around to show me... I told him it was not what we ordered. The waitress came back to our table to clarify the situation and I had to show her the Merlot we had ordered again on the wine list - and affirm it was not a brunello di montalcino but a merlot from sicily which was not the one that was delivered. After several more minutes in frozen anticipation of wine, we were asked by the maître d' if we needed anything or if he could take our dinner order. I told him we were already being waited on by Jessica. He then came back with a bottle of Merlot, the brand we had not ordered, indicating that they were indeed out of the wine I had ordered but this was of higher value and we could try it as a substitute. We tried it, settled on it, and it was a fine. (Further research of wine advisor shows that both bottles wholesale for approx. $6.46 per bottle... there was no greater substitution for our $30 bottle originally ordered).

We picked on breadsticks until our waitress came back to take our order, which was then about 25 minutes into our stay... We ordered from the Restaurant Week menu (no other menu was presented to us?) and my friend and I ordered the fritto misto(calamari) and lamb shank and the eggplant appetizer and pasta Bolognese. The appetizers came much later and the calamari were far and few between - there was mostly fried zucchini on the plate but the spicy marinara it was served with was very tasty and it was served pleasingly warm. Conversely, my friend's appetizer of eggplant was served on a very hot dish but the app itself was barely warm and the cheese on top was hard and not melted. We were able to flag down our waitress and she offered to have a fresh plate made, which was then preceeded by intermezzo of mango sorbet. When the eggplant finally arrived, it was served hot but surprisingly tasted nothing like the first plate? Is this really a Zagat praised establishment?

While sipping our then melted intermezzo, our main courses arrived. My lamb shank was absolutely delicious and tender, and had been slow roasted and served with a wonderful wine reduction with a mirepoix... the texture of the veggies were a wonderful addition and complemented the silkiness of the meat. It was delicious and all was right with the world again. Until.... I tasted the side of gnocchi was served at room temperature... why???? My friend's pasta entrée was steaming and flavorful.

Our waitress tried hard to overcome the delays from the kitchen, crabbed about the kitchen staff, and offered many apologies which at first were sincere but then became almost pathetic and too little too late. I have to believe that a restaurant with a #1 Zagat rating in their category would not only be able to handle a crowd, but would also be prepared to serve a full house their food HOT , and in a timely manner? Could it be that the breezes that blew in by the front tables in the arctic zone had made their way to the kitchen so that food was intermittently served cold???

I watched a young couple that sat across from us. I watched their dashed expressions while they waited for service, watched while they froze when the doors opened, and watched how they smiled when they tasted the lamb shank, too. Would it have been too much to ask for smile evoking service, properly prepared appetizers all before these wonderful entrees??? Even during restaurant week, I think not.

A recent reviewer put it best... Surprisingly unimpressive!

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1  Thank SpruceitupInteriors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

I have been to this restaurant a number of times. The food had always been exceptional. The last two times, the service has been so slow, I had to write a poor review. This past time, was the night before restaurant week, and most of the fish entrees were unavailable. The two lamb entrees that were ordered rare and medium rare had to be sent back because they arrived like charcoal brickettes. Twenty minutes later, when everyone else was finished dinner, we told them not to bother with our order.(by the way, there were only 4 other patrons in the restaurant) They did give us dessert and sent us home with our lamb packed to go for our trouble. But it still wasn't worth the 2 hour dining experience on a week night.

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Thank sasha09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

Let me preface this review by saying that we dined here during restaurant week, which brings with it several complications--the food was obviously prepared in mass quantities, the service was really quite bad, and the place was uncomfortably full. Since the food is the most important aspect to me, that's what I'll focus on here. We were served some pretty stale bread and some terrific crunchy breadsticks to start--if it says anything about our meals, those breadsticks were in the running for the best thing we ate all night. For our first courses, I had an overdressed salad and my boyfriend had rubbery fried calamari. Our second courses were run-of-the-mill baked chicken and a paltry portion of lamb chops. For dessert, we chose the chocolate cake and creme brulee. Those last courses were definitely the best, but they still weren't great, not in any sense of the word. I wonder what it would be like to eat here on a normal night, but honestly, we were so unimpressed, I doubt we'll bother coming back.

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1  Thank grace m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2013

Went here for a business dinner - group of 7. We had two waiters who were very attentive without hovering. Water glasses were kept full, wine glasses refreshed. We had a very nice Barolo that they decanted and then poured. We had rack of lamb, Dover sole and sea bass - all were wonderful. The lamb was tender and perfectly cooked to medium rare. The sole was deboned at the table with a very nice butter/caper sauce. I can't wait to go back!

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

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