So we were having one of those nights where we couldn't decide on a place to eat. We decided to just troll around inner SE and land somewhere. The place ended up being Iorio. From the outside it looked promising. A quick search online yielded positive reviews. Prices listed on the window looked reasonable, so in we went. The hostess asked if we had a reservation, and since we didn't, said we would have to sit at the bar. We were fine with that, but once we were shown inside we realized the restaurant was half-empty. And several tables remained empty throughout our meal. Not only that, the bar looked like it was a homemade project. It was about five feet long and looked right in on the side of a ramshackle server station. The whole dinner we were disrupted by waiters keying orders into the computer. Looking around, the restaurant has no atmosphere aside from red walls. They even have dark gothic curtains over the windows so you cannot see out. Part of their decor around the room is trucker hats that read "I heart Iorio." The artwork is all po-mo paintings of farms. I can't get a sense of what they were going for.
Our waiter, who may have been the manager, was pleasant at first, but quickly grew disinterested after we opted for single glasses of wine rather than a whole bottle. I ordered the eggplant parmesan, which came in a rich, spicy marinara. It was probably the highlight of the experience. The lady had the risotto on special, which featured an abundance of fresh vegetables but otherwise had little
character. After the entree we elected to have a second
glass of wine. I had, without a doubt, the worst glass of primitivo on earth. It tasted like cough syrup, like it wasn't from a fresh bottle. While we sat and had our wine the restaurant quickly cleared out (at about 9:30 on a Friday night). Our waiter dismissed a couple of waitresses to go home right in front of us and then cold-shouldered us as though we were no longer welcome. When we left he barely said goodbye, and only after I believe he
heard me complaining.
For $80 it was a miserable evening. There is much better Italian in Portland. Stay away from this place.
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