So this place just opened up. We have been so excited to have another Italian restaurant in Germantown. I don't think we will be visiting again mostly because of cost and the food (taste, tons of pine nuts in many dishes). The service will improve as they have more customers, but the food is overpriced for tasting so blah. (Kids meals are comparable in price to other restaurants). The decor is warm and inviting, just stinks the food is not great. For more detail read on....
A party of 9 went to the restaurant on a weekday evening. The restaurant was about 25% full. We were seated fairly promptly. Being a new restaurant in the area you would think the wait staff would have explained the menu but they did not. The kids menu needed translation for the kids as it was not kid friendly words like marinara sauce. My biggest beef with the kid menu is that it ONLY lists lemonade, Shirley Temple, and soda as the drink options (non of them healthy!). We did ask for milk and received it but we were charged $2.50 for the second glass yet others got free refills on soda and Shirley Temples. (We were not told that the milk would be additional, just assumed milk was on the menu like the other drinks - we didn't look closely).
The service continued to be a bit disjointed, but like I said should improve the more experience they get. Took drink orders in two shifts, waiter wasn't sure if we could sample the marinara sauce or not before ordering, not attentive to bread basket needing refills, did not offer cheese w/ pasta dishes, and even though we stated we needed 2 checks and who was on what check items got switched and checks needed to be redone. He also did not check on us once our meals were served and we had a chance to taste them. On the upside our waiter was attentive about food allergies and tried to answer our questions about the menu when we sought assistance. He did offer to remove the $2.50 charge for the milk when I questioned why the soda was free but not the milk. (The first milk is free, but you are charged $2.50 for subsequent ones. The milk is the same size as the soda cup).
We all ordered our meals at the same time. However, the kid's pizzas (very thin crust) came out first, then some of the other pastas (to include kid meals) and finally the rest. The menu has a variety of options (salads, pizza, sandwiches, baked pasta dishes, and pasta), but if you are looking for a pasta dish that does not have pine nuts it is hard. The company only makes 2 sauces on site and those are the only two they can adapt. All others are stuck with the pine nuts. Their red sauce is a spicy sauce, but when asked if they had a non-spicy we were told yes, but it was still a bit too spicy for the children and an adult. You can mix and match your noodle w/ the sauce, but once again only limited to 2 sauces if you are a vegetarian and can't have pine nuts.
The food varied in temperature. Baked goods (lasagne was steaming hot and very burnt around the outer edges) and pastas were luke warm. One dish had to be returned because the caramelized onions were burnt so bad it ruined the entire dish. The waiter offered to have it remade, but customer passed on it and was comp'ed the meal. The carbonara sauce was a bit smokey in one dish but the other not as smokey. The lasagne was blah in flavor; other restaurants are much more tasty. One ravioli dish w/ meat sauce was not liked. Only the chicken/salmon dishes come with a vegetable of the day. Overall for the price you pay the food should be tasty and you want to take any leftovers home. We did not order dessert as they too were on the higher price end and didn't want to take the chance that they would taste blah as well.
The martinis and sangria we got on the other hand were wonderful and the only reason we would return to this restaurant. They were worth their pricetag. Way to go bartender!
I did speak to the manager as we left as I like to touch base with the manager before writing a review that is not great. The manager listened and I know most of the stuff is out of her control (a lot of the sauces not being able to be adapted, charging for milk, etc). She seemed somewhat understanding that no healthy drink options are on the kids menu. She did say they discussed whether they were going to offer milk/juice and decided they would offer them. I explained the choices should really be on the menu or verbally offered to parents/kids and also explained that refills are not free for milk but are for soda. (Not sure about juice refills). I also expressed how shocked I was to see so many dishes w/ pine nuts given the high incidence of tree nut allergies these days. (Once again out of her control). She apologized for the overdone lasagne and caramelized onions.
Hopefully they'll make it but we'll stick with Agrodolce across the street!!! At least there the food is tasty and worth the money.
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