Solid, but unspectacular.
Maybe I'm spoiled. Growing up in the Boston area, I was always spoiled by the North End and the Italian eateries in that area. When I lived in the area, I would look for the place that looked like the biggest dive and go in. The best place I have ever eaten Italian in was a little sea foam green two story house, total mom & pop outfit with plastic table cloths and Sinatra posters on the wall. I was hoping Mondo's being tucked in that shopping center would live up to that standard.
It was good, but I've definitely had better. The bread is good, but I'd rather have the bread at EVO or Amalfi's. I usually test an Italian place by their spaghetti and meatballs. It's a bread and butter dish, you either do it well or you don't. Mondo's was "meh". The meat mixture is fine. The beef, veal and pork combo is pretty standard. It was the texture that killed me. It was all so fine that all I could think of was that they put the meat in the food processor and then formed it. Pasta was cooked just fine, but that is cardinal sin to screw up. The problem was that there was so damn much of it. Just complete carb overkill. The red sauce is good. A good sauce can make up for a league average meatball, and frankly this sauce just didn't do that.
Not to mention that the place is a cavern. It is tremendously loud in there, which wasn't necessarily bad considering there were 8 in my party (with two kids under 5). But I couldn't imagine going there on date night without a megaphone. I would go back to give it another shot (it wasn't so bad that it doesn't warrant another chance), but I would prefer someone else pay this time.
Way over priced for mediocre food. If you can open a jar and cook boxed pasta, save your money and eat at home.
We've been to Bella Napoli several times (for lunch). We've sampled their pizza, Sausage Roll, Spaghetti with Pomodoro sauce, Fettuccine Alfredo etc. The food is universally excellent with some of it being the best I've ever had (your kidding me if anyone finds their food 'microwaved').
My minor critique is that their pizzas are just a touch cheese heavy (and they'll reduce it if asked) and the before meal bread is 'meh'. Also, time for new carpet guys.
The service has been very good. Its so strange that our experience has been so different from some the reviews. Maybe a time of day thing? My advice, try it for yourself and make up your own mind.
Since the reviews have been 50/50 - as an optimist (and a fan of the WA La Fontana) I had hopes. I'm writing this as I now have hopes of not being sick. The wine was passible - no liquor license. The pasta "special" - ravioli of spinach, ricotta and walnuts - $22. The pasta was probably made 2-3 days ago. The "cream" sauce was brownish-grey and as thick as mashed potatoes. The Saltimbocca was drenched in turkey gravy (Cisco have a sale?) We tried a quarter of our plates. Even though Antonio, our server, was charming and attentive, he knew the problems had no solution and advised the chef 'knew little English' and 'might be uncaring' . He was delicate about the possible encounter. We wanted to like this place and call it an off night, maybe visit again for the red gravy, our check ($22 for ravioli?) warranted a talk with the chef / cook. He started with "everyone else loves the food" to "I'm very busy (four tables in the restaurant, we were the last to enter @ 6:30 p.m.) I'll forgive a restaurant for an off night, but not a chef / cook for not caring. Full disclosure - he didn't let us pay for our meal in spite our willingness to do so, but his curse dismissal of us gave the initiative for this review so others can judge. However, if any old school restaurant is looking for a dedicated server, seek out Antonio - he's charming.
Man, this place is great!! Almost as Italian as Olive Garden!!
What happened to Gennaro's? As a former denizen of NYC of Italian extraction I found that Gennaro's was the only place that had the gravy similar to what I'm used to. I had dinner this week and I think that the economy is taking a toll on them and they are now cutting corners. Salad; outer leafs of lettuce, one olive, two tomatoe slices and an onion? Weak... The alfredo was disappointing as the sauce tasted and had the textrure of library paste with a faint cheese taste. Very disappointing. It seems that they are cutting back and trying to stretch a few ingredients. It will be a while before I consider trying them again.
Ate there last night for the first time, as I was kinda stuck on AlDiLa for my italian. Completely different vibe; very comfy country feel to the space as well as the menu. Start with the $19 bottle wine special, the Lucas & Lewellen Pinot Noir is a steal and was flying out to the tables. Grab the carpaccio, but split it, it's big. In fact, everything seemed big as I looked around. Certainly the veal scallopine and the Garganelli with braised pork ragu we ordered were big enough for the next day's lunch. I have to mention the staff. From greeting, (they obviously have regulars as shown by the hugs) to the table, (Michael was our waiter and very good at his job, you almost want him to sit down and join you.) But most impressive was the scanning of the room by everyone there. Every one of them look at everything as they go by, and whoever that guy in the kitchen whites was with his hands folded behind his back as he checked plates going out is scary good.
OK, here's the downside, felt a little too far away from my date at the two top. No star loss on that, next time I will try to hit one of those cushioned banquet booths!
Great food, great atmosphere, great service, worth every penny.
Thanks to Bocci's I am able to be lazy and not have to worry about cooking good Italian at home anymore. Now I can just go there for great Italian! My father is Italian and a bit of a foodie who prides himself on being able to distinguish great Italian from Fazoli's. He was thoroughly impressed with the tuscan duck, and I really enjoyed the grilled salmon. This quaint little place has a nice authentic atmosphere with a friendly waitstaff and a terrific selection of food to suit any taste. They are gluten and vegan friendly too!
Bocci's is a decent little Italian joint. Great food for the price. The tuscan duck was one of the best dishes I've ever had. Nice downtown location is definitely worth a try if your're in the area.
Not the best Italian food! Way too pretentious and pricey.
Have been there three times now and each time we have had superb meals, creativity and flavor went hand And hand. exceptionally good appetizers and superb service by Casey our server and Drew in the kitchen.
Isn't mediochre a color?
I have been to Bella Napoli several times and have never had a bad experience.The waitstaff are great, one little girl is a little snooty; but the rest are wonderfully welcoming.
The food is authentic and fresh. I am sure the people griping are used to the "chef boyrdee" stuff that the Olive Garden and Carrabas microwaves and calls some ridiculous name.
The specials are usually the best thing on the menu.
The place is in a strip mall and the decor doesn't live up to "mt plastic" but it lends the type of atmosphere that you find in Italy in the little towns...
I care about great, fresh food and that is what they serve at Bella Napoli.
Reasonably priced, mediochre italian/american fare. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente. The eggplant was soggy and loaded with stale bread crumbs. The table bread was dense and cubed; wonder bread wrapped in a black napkin and served in a basket is still wonder bread. The dipping oil was sour. The alfredo was like paste but the flavor was good. The service was slow. Everything about Bella Napoli is "eh" at best. BUT, the bf and I got to have lunch together which makes everything better.
I had been hearing about Lucca for a while so my expectations were high, and it definitely did not disappoint. My girlfriends and I went in last night for family night and it was AMAZING!! For our antipasti we got a mixture of items, one of which was the most delicious fried eggplant with a provolone fonduta. It was such a great way to start the meal. For our pasta we got their house made tagliolini with clams cooked in Italian white wine and oven roasted herb tomatoes. The entree was the best chicken I have ever had. Everything from the potatoes and caramelized onions it was over, to how perfectly the chicken was cooked, to the pickled red peppers on top was the best flavor combination ever. I never order chicken when I go out to dinner but I would order that again in a heartbeat. One of my friends is a pescatarian so when the entree came out they accommodated her by making her a parmesan crusted fish dish that was just as amazing as the chicken. The desert lived up to the rest of the meal as well. It was a Chocolate pudding. Now I know that does not sound exiting but the texture was like a really silky crem brule and it was topped with flaked sea salt and candied hazelnuts. Oh, and there was olive oil on top of it too! Might be the best desert I have ever had.
The service was just as impressive as the food. I am a total stranger to Italian wines, so our server described in detail several wines on the menu and gave us amazing recommendations. She was so knowledgable about the food as well. Every course she presented to us she was able to perfectly describe each dish and answer all of our questions about the preparation of the food, and believe me, we had a lot! She, along with the other servers at the restaurant, made sure we were happy throughout the whole meal. The manager even came over at one point to make sure everything was to our liking. I read a review last week that the wait staff there had issues splitting checks but that was not at all the case with our table. We were a party of 6 and they gave us each our own check without any issues at all.
Overall I was extremely happy with our experience. Everything from the food, to the service, to the ambiance was perfect. I has easily become my favorite restaurant in town.
I give 2 stars for the food which was delicious. Sad to say though that service goes a long way and theirs was not impressive. This place has awful management. I have never dealt with such unprofessional people.
Wow. Wow. wow.
The cancer of charleston strikes again.
I am so sorry we inconvenienced our servers by being there last night. I had friendlier service at DLR. I mean: they wouldn't let us in before 6. Ok, that's when they open, but that's when our ten top's reservation was for and two other tables also. We all waited outside in the 100+ temperatures, some for over 15 minutes. I understand that's when they open, but come on, don't you think some people might be early or late? It happens. I understand you're super stressful 4 hour shift making $100 plus off of six tables that 7 of you share just could not be expected to simply let someone in to sit 10 minutes earlier.
Then, once allowed into their presence, there was zero warmth from the inside (oh it was hot as hell though, everyone was sweating) no greeting, no explaination of the menu for the night (except as the platters were sat down), just a disgust that not everyone was there yet (4 minutes later) and when asked about drinks.........jesus it's just not worth it.
Long story short: crap service to 4 out of 9 people that are all in f&B, one that owns a restaurant right up the street. They will never have anyone sent their way from any of us! But, they REALLY seem to not want any customers anyway. The family dinner was a set price for each person........so, all our server would have to do is keep track of our drinks, right? No, she said it would be really hard to seperate our bill and would take her a long time. IT"S YOUR FUCKING JOB!!!!!
She said, normally one person just pays for the bill. Are you kidding me? Really? every monday night, each table only has ONE person dump out $800 to $1000 for their guest to eat? Am I crazy to think that's bullshit?
There are still a lot of people in this town that want to feel like dropping, a hard earned, $150 for dinner seemed worth it.
And then, no "thank you". No "thank you" from anyone in the place. Our bill folders dropped on the table for us to figure out and that was it. Nothing. They didn't give ONE shit if anyone liked anything or had any questions about anything.
I just don't get it.
Had dinner there tonight. I called ahead for reservations but got the machine... undeterred we walked up around 8:30 and got a seat immediately. The decor is very classic, old-city European. The lighting is candelight-toned and just made the place feel good. Yes it is dim, but I had no problem discerning the menu or any parts of my meal... but different strokes and all that.
The service was very attentive throughout the meal, from the host/greeter to our server Abby to the expediter. We never felt ignored but also not smothered. The wine list looked thorough, but I didn't really peruse it, opting instead for a single-barrel bourbon to go with my octopus appetizer. The complimentary foccacia came with a dash of very fragrant olive oil on our bread plates, but most of it was dedicated to the arrabiata sauce on the octopi.
That dish was done perfectly. I loved it... the texture, flavor, and presentation all hit the high notes. If you don't like many-legged invertebrates, it probably wouldn't be worth it, but if you do you might appreciate how difficult it is to cook them and maintain a tender feel. Yum and double-yum.
Our server was quite patient with our request to order entrees after we'd gotten into the appetizer. We had the artichoke ravioli (in a cream sauce that was pretty much a guaranteed winner) and asparagus soup. The meal was consistently delicious and well-presented, with the different textures in both dishes presenting clearly but harmoniously. The temperatures for everything was ideal, right down to the water, so clearly a better experience for us than some.
We had a nice long chat with Abby after dinner and it was nice to get more than the "schmooze until they tip" level of interaction. The bill was very reasonable, and would have been more so had I resisted the temptation for a big ol' glass of Kentucky's finest. Definitely a quality addition to Upper King, and a place that I will recommend to my friends.
Visited Charleston for 10 days in May. This was the only place we made reservations. Called two weeks in advance and followed up on that day. Arrived at Lucca only to be shuttled a block down the street to their bar. This was fine as we don't mind waiting a bit. We were there an hour and a half. After calling from the bar and being told our table was not quite ready, we walked back to the restaurant. Only to arrive and find out that the table they originally told us was ours was occupied by someone else. At this point they began to seat us at another table. I felt that the customer was put last and decided to leave. We went to another restaurant Fulton 5. We did not have a reservation and with a short wait they were able to seat us. It was a very delightful and fantastic meal.
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