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“Confusing and disappointing”

Serena Sicilian Influenced Gastropub
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Ranked #153 of 765 Restaurants in Durham
Price range: $7 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Bar, Pub, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Families with children, Business meetings, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: In 1976 Sicilian immigrants Tony and Gina Cataldo opened Endicott NY's famed Tony's Pizza close to IBM (which was founded in that very town.) That same year they had a son, Giuseppe. With a playpen made of flour bags and waitresses as nannies, Giuseppe literally grew up in the business. Once he had mastered his father's craft he left Endicott to work in New York City for the likes of Mario Batali at Otto and Esca and for the Cipriani's in Grand Central Station as well as on South Beach in Miami at Prime One Twelve and Casa Casuarina in the Versace Mansion. This restaurant is a culmination of those experiences.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Confusing and disappointing”
Reviewed December 26, 2013

Went here with friends on their recommendation, but overall it was a disappointment. The place is kind of confusing - it looks like a diner, but with quite the beer/liquor/wine selection, playing a mix of 90's pop and hip-hop (e.g., Hanson & Coolio), and serving traditional Italian. We were surprised by the bill after having done a quick review of the menu online - apparently the price of your dish varies by sauce, pasta cut, and whether you add meat/vegies/etc. After tax and tip, it was around $50 for two pasta dishes, tap water, and one alcoholic beverage. My spaghetti was underdone and I found several clumps where the pasta was uncooked - like what happens if you dump an old box of spaghetti in the pot but don't break apart the noodles or stir it. Waitress was also nonchalant/bordering on neglectful, even though the place was empty (manager brought an ice bucket for the white wine ten minutes later when she saw waitress had forgotten). Overall not terrible, but for the price we will not be going back.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PhillyOn2Wheels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Giuseppe C, Owner at Serena Sicilian Influenced Gastropub, responded to this review, December 28, 2013
I am so sorry. Your experience is unacceptable, please let me make it up to you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
101 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Good food, great service”
Reviewed November 24, 2013

We took half our soccer team here for dinner since it was close to our hotel. We took them my by surprise but they were quick to get us seated and accommodating to the teenage boys who wanted to play corn hole on the patio in November. Server did a great job separating the checks. I had the gnocchi with the grey goose sauce. The gnocchi was good but a little rubbery. My son had steak added to his gnocchi and enjoyed it. My friend had one of their specialty drinks said it was great. The chicken Milanese was good as well. We would definitely eat here again if back in the area.

Visited November 2013
Thank Angela S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
322 reviews
196 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“OK food, good service”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Ate dinner here as it was close to my hotel. Fairly basic place, more café than restaurant to me. Nice outdoor patio though especially when its warm. Tried the minestrone, but it was fairly greasy to my taste. The roasted red pepper soup which they gave me a taste of was a lot nicer. I had spaghetti and meatballs and asked for it overcooked as I do not like al dente and they did so that was good. The service was good if a bit scattered. When my meal came the waitress asked if I wanted to keep the soup spoon I had used for my spaghetti. I did as it seemed bringing me a fresh spoon was more than they were used to - a first in my experience. It was inexpensive and the menu seemed adequate for an Italian place. They have a good selection of local beers however.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank BDL999_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dallas, texas
Level Contributor
113 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Nice patio, huge portions”
Reviewed August 19, 2013

My colleagues and I were staying at Hotel Indigo and found this restaurant. We didn't know what to expect but saw that it was busy and had a patio (it was a beautiful night). We are glad we stopped. We all ordered different things and had a glass of wine and were pleased with our choices. My colleague who had pasta and a salad couldn't believe how big the portions were. My other colleague and I each ordered starters and they were substantial enough for dinner. We plan to go back again next time we're in town because we felt it was a great value and much better environment than the usual chains.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank jooles_p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
55 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Just ok”
Reviewed May 22, 2013

Showed up for lunch. Liked the atmosphere, can eat inside or out. Lots of people. Menu looks good but pricy. Initial order taking was fine but took 40 minutes to get lunch. Got pasta with a spinach topping. Spinach is way overpriced, for 2.25 you get a few pieces of cooked spinach. $14 for pasta with no drink.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CaptViolet2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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