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“Worst Dining Experience in Harrisburg”

Carley's Ristorante
Ranked #107 of 537 Restaurants in Harrisburg
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: ranked among the Best restaurants in Harrisburg on Google.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Worst Dining Experience in Harrisburg”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2012

My mother and mother-in-law were in town, so my wife and I decided to take them to Carley's on a Friday night. We had never been before, but we saw there were mostly good reviews and thought that a piano bar would be a fun atmosphere for dinner. We were seated right away when we got there but then it went downhill fast! Our waitress was not very friendly or knowledgeable about any questions we asked. Also, the piano bar singer didn't show up and no one on staff could give us a straight answer about the situation. Service is VERY slow at this restaurant! After we ordered our food it took 30 minutes just to get our salad (after we had to ask our waitress for it). During those 30 minutes are waitress rarely came to our table and we had to even ask the manager for bread because we were starving and couldn't find our waitress. Even after we got our salads our waitress maybe stopped at our table once. Finally, an hour after we ordered our food, our entree's arrived (by the way...it wasn't crowded and it is a fairly small restaurant). Our parents got a family style pasta dish to share and my wife and I got lasagna to share. Our lasagna was barely warm on the outside and the inside was cold. We waited an hour with poor service to get cold lasagna!! It looked like it was made earlier in the day and someone just tried to reheat it...they offered to reheat it, but I'm not spending good money on dinner for it to be heated up in a microwave. When this happened, our waitress basically disappeared and avoided us completely. My wife and I just shared our parents pasta because who knew how long it would have taken to get something else to eat. I have never received such poor service in my life. Other than the lasagna, the other food was good, but it was the service and our waitress that really made this the worst dining experience in Harrisburg! All the waitress and manager did was take off the lasagna from our bill....you would think they would have done more to make the situation better? When the check did come, our waitress all of the sudden tried to be really nice to us. She said she hoped we would come back again and that tonight was just an "off night". Isn't every night supposed to be a good night at a restaurant? It's a shame that I had to pay for an expensive meal on one of their "off nights"... And to top it off, when we were leaving the restaurant, the piano player finally arrived two hours later than advertised . So much for a piano bar restaurant experience. We will never be going back and I highly recommend that you don't waste your time here either!!!!

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank cjc0916
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    12
    11
    1
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Enola, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
“Regular”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2012

As always my girlfriend and I are regulars to the intimate setting of a nice piano bar with friendly service. We always enjoy show tune sundays with our favorite crew of industry people

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Matthew A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Always Awesome”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2012

My wife and I have been trying to hit Carley's once every few weeks for their happy hour. Can't beat the happy time price. But most importantly the food is Awesome! That along with the wonderful service we have always received make it all the more worthwhile.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank scottywk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Wonderful Surprise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2012

So here we were, 4 forty-somethings in the Harrisburg area acting like kids and enjoying Hershey Park. We are from New Jersey and we frequently comment on how vacation meals are never as good as the offerings that we have available to us at home. We read in a tourist magazine that Harrisburg had a restaurant row, so we decided to head into town and check it out. We were walking past Carley's and a young man entering said "Best food in Harrisburg, seriously!", so without any hesitation, we went in. It's small and charming, with an intimate bar and a piano tucked back into a corner. We were greeted promptly by both the bartender and our server who seated us at a lovely booth. Soft lighting and exposed brick combined with piano music provided a cool, friendly vibe.
Our server, Amal (sp?) was attentive and knowledgeable and when we told her that it our first visit, she was happy to help us with suggestions. She let us know that the lemoncello and orangecello liquors were both homemade and that the martinis were "kinda a big deal". They were a big delicious deal, indeed!! Amal informed us that 90% of the menu is scratch made in house, which we were happy to hear. First came warm, crusty, yeasty bread with a dish of very good olive oil and spices for dipping. Amal named every ingredient in the dipping oil and then left us to enjoy! After just the right amount of time, she was back talking to us about appetizers and entrees. The attention to detail was impressive. Appetizers were generous portions cooked fresh and served hot. After appetizer plates were cleared and water glasses were filled, we switched to a wine suggestion and enjoyed a glass while waiting for our entree. Each of us ordered something very different and all four of us were very pleased. The tomato sauce was fresh and bright and reminded me of my grandmother's summer sauce. The other sauces were equally as good. The meat (two of us had chicken, two of us had veal) was tender and cooked to perfection. The vegetables were seasoned perfectly and cooked beautifully (the broccolini was exceptionally good). Pasta was a perfect al dente'. We never wanted for a single thing thanks to Amal. Dessert was the icing on the cake, pun intended. There was absolutely nothing to complain about.
Two days later we are back home and in our favorite restaurant having dinner, but still talking about our wonderful experience at Carley's. Do not pass up an opportunity to check this place out!

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CindyPatterson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
68 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“What Happened To Carley's”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2012

In town on business every four months and Carley's has always been a "must do" for dinner. This time it was horrible! There appeared to be only one server who said she was new (and it showed), and after getting our dinners and seeing that they were nothing like previous visits, we asked if the chef was new and were told "I'm not sure".

We also remembered this as being a piano bar and were a little irritated that the piano player stopped for someone to play Flamenco guitar.

The other member in my party had crab shell in her dish and mine tasted completely different than in the past. In the end we were comped for one round of drinks by the manager.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ica1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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