My wife and I were excited to try a new Italian restaurant.
First impressions, it has a decent atmosphere with dim lights and slightly comfortable chairs. However, the terrible experience is yet to come.
I told our waitress that this was our first time here and we would love to hear her recommendations. She recommended the Alfredo or the Spaghetti and meatballs. To this I knew I was in trouble. "Straight from Naples, Italy" and spaghetti and meatballs/alfredo is the best they can recommend?
My wife and I wanted something a bit more complex, so I ordered the lasagna, a bowl of the only soup on the menu (a spinach and egg soup in chicken broth... I had hoped for something better than what it sounded like...) and the salada caprese. My wife ordered the cheese ravioli with a spinach/ricotta cream sauce.
The wait was VERY long, during which we had to remind the waitress that everyone else has bread and perhaps we could have some, too. She brought the foccatta bread in a basket. It was incredibly dry and stale. It tasted like it came from a local grocery store and sat out all day before they served it.
The soup and salad arrived next. The salad was the ONLY good point of the meal. Though overpriced at $7 for 4 slices of tomatoes and 3 slices of mozarella, it was a typical caprese salad and had nothing wrong with it. (also nothing to rave about) The soup was a simple boxed chicken broth soup with spinach leaves and an egg dropped into it. Extremely simple, nothing unique, a little bland, and not worth paying a penny for. I can make that at home, and I don't want to go to a restaurant to get something I can make at home.
Finally came the meals... My lasagna had a plastic, freezer-burned taste to it. The cheese melted on top and the colder center relative to the sides was a dead give-away that this lasagna had been heated in a microwave. I tried ignoring the plastic taste, but it stuck with me in every single bite.
My wife's ravioli was in a heart-attack salty sauce that was borderline inedible.
When the waitress finally came over, I gave her my thoughts on the food. She apologized and brought the plates away. She came back a little later and told me why I must have been crazy in thinking that the lasagna tasted like plastic and the ravioli was in a sickeningly salty sauce - the lasagna was made on site, to which through quick questioning I was able to get it out of her that of course it is wrapped in plastic and stored in the freezer until one is ordered. (I did not even want to know how many days it is allowed to sit) and of course, she said the cheese in the ravioli sauce was the reason it was salty.
I cancelled our desert. The waitress had promised that the canoli was made on-site fresh... She had said that exact same thing about the lasagna. That was all the convincing I needed to confirm I made the right decision to cancel the canoli.
That night I suffered the worst heartburn ever from that food. And the following morning, my body decided to expel what was left of that food in my stomach.
Next time I think about going Italian and might want to try Bella Napoli, I will just stay at home and cook an alfredo or spaghetti and meatballs.
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