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“Good food, but comically bad service”
Review of Pueo's Osteria

Pueo's Osteria
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Ranked #2 of 68 Restaurants in Waikoloa
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed November 19, 2017

Our experience at Pueo's Osteria was the kind where at first you feel annoyed, but then things get so bad you have to laugh. We arrived on time for our 7:00 reservation and were seated within about 10 minutes. The lobby was jammed and the hostess was apologetic about the delay. We then sat at our table for 35 minutes while no one even acknowledged our presence. Servers were whizzing all around, but no one seemed to be assigned to our table or the one next to us. Our neighbors finally flagged down the hostess and they were assigned a server. A few minutes later we were approached by someone who may have been a manager. We quickly ordered our whole meal before we got lost in the shuffle again. Throughout our meal, we were served by at least three or four separate people. I'm guessing that someone didn't show up for work and they were scrambling to cover the tables, but I thought it was odd that no one apologized or even acknowledged the difficulty.
The food is actually quite good. I had the rigatoni bolognese, which was delicious. The sauce was the old fashioned, brown kind and I enjoyed the fact that they didn't drown the pasta in sauce. My husband had the spaghetti pomodora, which he also enjoyed. The $6 bread service was disappointing-don't waste your money on it. We both had the lemoncello panna cotta. It was delicious and well worth the calories. I ordered one of their speciality cocktails, which was so bitter I had to add sugar to it. The cocktail, however, wasn't served to me until after the entrees arrived.
Our best laugh of the night was when our server arrived at the table with our desserts in his hands before he cleared away our entree plates. He stood there bewildered for a few seconds and then asked if we wanted our entree plates cleared before he served the dessert. He never refilled my husband's coffee nor brought him a spoon for his panna cotta.
All restaurants have off nights, but this was especially bad. It's unfortunate that such good food is handled so poorly.
The restaurant is tricky to find. It's in a small mall, next to the Bank of Hawaii and behind a Subway's.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Lynne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 - 152 of 958 reviews

Reviewed November 14, 2017 via mobile

We decided to try this for dinner. We each ordered a 12” flatbread margarita pizza. $19 each. Not even nice slices of tomato. Just sauce. My husband ordered soup which was listed as Market Price on the menu. SOUP at Market Price?? It was $10 for a bowl of mediocre soup. Don’t understand the 5 star rating.

1  Thank tweety874
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2017 via mobile

I think with this place, you have to take the reviews with a grain of salt. Compare to the prices at the resorts, it’s better priced and the food is great! If you’re comparing it to the great Italian restaurant down the street from you back home, it’s food is good but way over priced. Kind of par for the area, considering it’s in a little shopping complex that’s not really close to anything. This is also not your romantic little Italian place.

On the other hand, they import their flour from Italy? And they have gluten free options for those that require or want that option. They easily accommodated our party of 14 (with reservations) at 5 pm. We were served promptly and the waitress was friendly and willing to split the check several ways. It does get loud in the restaurant but with 6 kids among us, that was a good thing. We didn’t feel conspicuous even if the kids got loud. Also of note, waitress happily put in the kids order first. Even suggested it.

I had the wild boar pappardelle (good) and my husband had the gnocchi (and he is a gnocchi snob) which was also good and tasty with mushrooms and meat. Pasta was pillowy soft with a good texture. Our friends had the same except one had the saltimbocca and he said that was really good. On a side note this dish didn’t come with pasta or bread. Kids all had pizza which was ok. On that note, they will also do kids size anything here (a half order) and had kids size pizza.

Overall, this place was a solid good when you compare it to every other Italian place you’ve ever been to. But for the resort area, it’s prices and food are excellent (compared to dona and Toni’s pizza in the Waikoloa hotel my friends went to and they spent $75 on 3 x 9 inch pizzas. My family had wine, three entrees and dessert for $100 plus tip) - so you should read all the reviews with a grain of salt. :)

Thank Rx-art
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2017

Heard about this restaurant from some other guests at our hotel on the Big Island. It was also featured in the Big Island Traveler magazine in our room. So we were looking forward to some good Italian food after a long day.

How disappointing! Was it terrible? No. But was it excellent? No way! Not even close. It was exceedingly mediocre. Everything was.

Brussle sprouts appetizer - very greasy while at the same time not cooked enough. The stems on the sprouts (Stems? I’ve never had stems on my brussle sprouts...) were especially tough.

My wifes’ pasta dish was again just “okay” - just some pasta with pesto and vegetables and the vegetables were all under cooked - close to raw.

My dish - Gnocchi. The gnocchi were grainy and definitely not pillowy soft - I’ve had much bettter gnocchi out of a package. It also had little flavor even though you would think it should with sausage, onions, mushrooms and more.

For what it was it is VERY over-priced. Service was fine - but my dish was small and simply not very good. I’ve had better tasting food at Olive Garden. Fine dining prices with run-of-the-mill food.

1  Thank JD_Clayton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2017 via mobile

Arrived with high expectations but left with the realization that when one is the only game in town ratings can be skewed.

Since this is an Italian restaurant, we had two different pasta dishes.

Food was over priced with little redeeming hope from the flavor or environment. Both dishes were disappointing in flavor and in temperature! The environment was very loud, too cold and too crowded (tables are so close it was almost family-style).

Guessing the locals have little to compare this Cucina ristorante with.

1  Thank ed d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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