Tag Archive | Italian

Luna Rossa – Stillwater Restaurant

Luna Rossa, Stillwater, Restaurant, ItalianLuna Rossa is a restaurant I frequent when I take a trip to Stillwater. The food here is always great and they have the best Penne Carbonara that I have had in the cities thus far.

This trip was especially disappointing, not because of the food. But, because our server clearly had not been trained. It took the attention away from celebrating a birthday to dealing with trying to get our food and drinks.

Luna Rossa 2

I did appreciate that our server let us know right at the beginning of the meal that she was new and that it may take her a little longer. I actually don’t blame her at all. I blame the restaurant for putting a server on a shift when she was clearly not ready.

We started by ordering our drinks. I ordered a bottle of wine from the wine menu and others ordered beers. After about 15 minutes of waiting around our server came back to the table to let us know that they did not have that wine anymore and asked if I would like to pick out another. Unfortunately, she did not have a current list of wines to know which wines on the menu were no longer available.This all would have been solved if there was an updated wine list.

It took over 30 minutes to get the wine but thank goodness I did pick one that was on the current wine list.Unfortunately, our server did not know how to open the bottle of wine. I gave her and everyone at the table a tutorial on opening a wine bottle. I really like wine.

We also recieved one beer but it was not the one that was ordered. The other beer never came. We asked the hostess if she could go get them for us. She replied with an answer of no and walked away with no explaination. We went to the bar and picked them up ourselves.

Just as this was resolved our food came out. It was a bit confusing because we had ordered an appetizer and salads for before the meal. We had to explain that we never got them. Other staff then brought out the salads after the main course was served. It was clear that food was not fired properly. We gave up on the appetizer that we never recieved.

As always the food was great! It was just too bad that everything was over shadowed by the server who needed more training. We felt horrible for her; she was almost in tears because so many things were going wrong at her tables because of things she simply did not know.

I beg you to please train your employees! You can have wonderful food and still lose customers after experiences like what happened to our celebration. This is a restaurant that I want to stick around, please, please, please update menus and make sure your employees know your menu and procedure before they are working a busy shift. Your fans are begging you to do so.

because it is important to train your workers

Luna Rossa Trattoria Wine Bar on Urbanspoon


Amore Victoria

How great does that dish look? It was delicious. But, now I will tell you why I will never be back there again. The service was horrible.

Now, this has nothing to do with our actual server. Who was really nice talked to us about the dishes and was friendly.  After the meal she even apologized to us for the service that we got. I asked her how many tables that she had because it seemed like that might have been the problem. She had 7 tables outside plus another 4 inside with a huge group. Now, that is unfair to both the server and the diners. I hope this is not a normal occurrence but from how the sever handled it, it seemed like it was.

But that was after we got seated. The worst part of going there was before we were actually seated. First, we walked into the restaurant but it was a nice day so naturally we wanted to sit outside and asked if we could. The server inside told us that she did not know if they had any availability upstairs and told us to go to the back walk up the stairs to see the hostess there. She was rude, most likely because people are always asking this all the time and she has to tell them to go upstairs.

My question is why is there no communication between the rooftop and the restaurant? Shouldn’t they be able to  figure out some way to let each other know when they are full or not. I really cannot blame the hostess either for her rudeness because how frustrating must it be when there is no room between the door and the hostess stand, she cannot tell us if there is any availability upstairs, and everyone wants to sit outside.

Things got worse, as we were walking up the stairs there were two young girls who were trying to get up the stairs in their heels. We let them go first because they were struggling. They were seated and we waited for the hostess. We asked for a table for two and she said they were all full. Now, I am pissed.

I had to walk up these damn stairs, I have things to do and all I wanted was a good meal outside.

Unfortunately, I gave the hostess a piece of my mind. This is because we let those girls go before us, because there were at least 5 open tables left. Granted they were 4 person tables, but I think we could have sat there anyways. We were told downstairs it was first come, first served and they do not take any reservations. We were told to go downstairs.

Now, this is where I made a mistake. I should have left.

We went downstairs to be seated outside on the sidewalk. The hostess inside said she would follow us out to a table. She saw someone else and sat them first inside and then decided to come out and seat us. As we are sitting down they were clearing waters that were left at a table because some diners actually got up and left. It is never a good sign when people leave without eating.

Now, this is where I made a mistake again. I should have left.

All and all, the dinner was not horrible because the food was good. Service was painfully slow and dinner took over 2 and a half hours. Which is a long time when you have two people sitting by you discussing the dates they had met on okcupid and how they were sooooooooo in love but he was ignoring her calls.

The bread was wonderful and so were the pasta dishes that we ordered.

Look at this food. I feel sorry for the chefs because after my experience there. I will never be back. You have been blacklisted.

Because who the hell manages this restaurant? Yikes.


Amore Victoria on Urbanspoon


Are you going to The Ordway for a show? You should stop at Pazzaluna for their happy hour beforehand.

They have a great happy hour menu with some delightful items on it. My favorite was the scallops. They were cooked perfectly and I liked the citrus that was used on the plate. (see below)

You cannot go wrong with any of the pizzas or the bruschetta. Both are delicious. This is because of good ingredients that are used well. Nothing ruins a tomato bruschetta like bad tomatoes. These were just perfect.  The photo at the top of the post is a chicken artichoke pizza and below is the tomato bruschetta.

I have to say that the service was not good. at all. But, it was not our servers fault. They has scheduled her for an unreasonable amount of tables in the bar area and outside during happy hour. She had about 13 tables in all, both inside and outside. There is no way that she could have given us good service because she was always running around. It was a shame. I think this would have made my experience here better. Hopefully, this was just a fluke.

I am hesitant on going back to order off their regular menu because it is a slight bit pricey for me and if I am not going to get good service it wouldn’t be worth it. Too bad because the food I had was good.

Because I love a good tomato.


Pazzaluna Urban Trattoria & Bar on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Week – Acqua

With beautiful views of White Bear Lake, Acqua was my choice for MSPMAG’s Summer Restaurant Week in Minnesota.

I was blessed with the perfect day yesterday to spend time by the lake. I have been to White Bear Lake many times and have never dined at this restaurant.  It is truly a hidden gem, that people are now discovering. White Bear Lake is about 25 Minutes outside of the cites and is worth the drive.

Acqua in my opinion is an Italian Seafood place. Meaning, when you come here you need to try something that has come from the sea and also has pasta with it. It has charm because it is located in a small house on a one way road and has a wonderful patio. Although, you cannot make reservations for the patio which is often full on sunny days like yesterday, dining in the house is equally as nice.

The Restaurant Week menu had at least 3 choices for each course allowing diners many options to choose from. My suggestion would be to try the item on the menu that seems the most unique to you and that you would not normally try. Those are always the menu items that I enjoy the most. I started with the Cantaloupe and Honeydew Puree with Strawberry and Mint.

This was definitely one of those items that I was not sure if I would like or if I would normally pick at a restaurant. But, it was great and look at that design. With hints of Cayenne Pepper this cold sweet soup was just what was needed to start off a great meal. I also had a few bites of the field greens with the tomato vinaigrette, also good, but more on the safe side of things.

You also get bread with honey butter while dining here…. I literally could not stop eating it. The wait staff who were friendly and professional kept bringing me more. Thank goodness for them.

Then on to the main event. You cannot go wrong with any of the choices on the restaurant week menu and from what I was hearing from other diners you can’t go wrong with virtually anything on the menu. I was told I need to come back and try the braised shank.

I had the main picture of this post, a Spaghetti with Grilled Shrimp, Roasted Tomato and Lemon Butter Sauce. It was delicious and I finished every bite. I regretted afterwards not saving some for leftovers.

I also tried the Eggplant Parmesan which had a delightful sauce on it.

Last but certainly not least was the desserts. Choose which ever item sounds good to you and go for it. You cannot make a wrong choice here. I had both the Creme Brulee and the Chocolate Souffle with the amazing graham cracker ice cream. I also saw the Pistachio Semifreddo come out and regretted not trying it.

Overall, try this place out for Summer Restaurant Week today or tomorrow and hope that next Restaurant Week they will be back again. Make sure to get your reservations in here early, you will not be disappointed. Heck, come here anytime you can because their regular menu looks fabulous also.

because sitting by a lake eating good food is what I want to be doing in heaven


Acqua Restaurant and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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