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Trattoria Simpatico in Jamestown RI: Awful

Based on a few recs on this board I took three guests to Trattoria Simpatico in Jamestown. I have to say I was blown away with how bad the food was. First the good point: the outdoor dining area is cute. Loud, obnoxious, but cute. But the food. Yikes. Its like they know what good food is supposed to look like, what good food is supposed to be composed of, yet have no idea what good food taste like. I had the Paella; or in my mind bits of overcooked seafood and chicken stuck in dry rice. The one tasty bit was a nice chunk of chicken that had the correct texture. I did have to add tons of salt and pepper to add flavor, a sin in a place as expensive as this. Two others had the Capallini and gulf shrimp. Again pepper and salt had to be added. The sauce, and thats being nice to call it that, tasted at best like water that some greens had boiled in. I thought it tasted something like dish water, but perhaps I was being harsh. The pasta, overcooked and sticky, not a nice combo. Ok, you get the drift. No point going on. For what its worth I live in NY and am spoiled by the wealth of good food. Perhaps I hit a bad night. Please let me know if I am way of base.

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  1. That makes me so sad! I love the setting, but the one time I had dinner there (last summer) my dining companion and I were both decidedly underwhelmed ....it wasn't awful but I guess I couldn't even call it good. Sounds like it has gotten even worse. I'll never get over being stunned when a restaurant can't get the basics right.....pasta and rice cooked to the proper consistency, steaks and burgers cooked to order, etc. If you're not capable of doing that, why open a restaurant?

    1. Are you local? Try Bay Leaves in Wickford.....I've been meaning to go but haven't gotten there yet. I've heard very good things about it and they also have outdoor seating.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JaneRI

        I live in New York. My wife is from South County and we spend a great deal of our summer in Charlestown. I get the feeling Trattoria is living of the fumes of past good reviews. I have to say its been tough finding a nice place not in Providence. I will try Bay leaves.

        1. re: driggs

          Try Maria's in Misquamicutt on Atlantic Ave. Captain Tim's Galley has decent Portuguese food. Not chic, but friendly and clean. Route #1 across from Stonington HS in a strip mall. Will try Bay Leaves next time down.

      2. oh and thanks for the heads up on Simpatico.

        1. Do you drive up from NY? If so, I'd highly recommend Up River Cafe in Westerly. Beautiful patio on the river, attentive service, inventive well-prepared food. Do a keyword search, you'll find the menu online.

          1. Our summer house is not far from Westerly. Up River Cafe has been on our radar for some time, but have not yet gotten a chance. Perhaps sometime soon. I would love Portuguese, so Marcos suggestion of Captain Tim's Galley sounds nice. My guess is to stick to Provedince for Protuguese.

            1 Reply
            1. re: driggs

              UpRiver is HIGHLY overrated and overpriced

            2. There was a recent discussion about Jamestown and environs started by marco. You probably already saw it, but here it is again.

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              I would highly recommend both Persimmon and DeWolf Tavern, both in nearby Bristol, RI, to you.

              http://www.persimmonbristol.com/
              http://www.dewolftavern.com/

              As for most other seaside dining, regardless of where I am, I generally stick to clam shack-type places.

              1. I dined at Trattoria last November (Al Fresco !) and had a wonderful meal during Newport Restaurant Week. It was fabulous with a dynamite encrusted pork appetizer and Arugala Salad. I understand a there is a new executive chef that started in the late summer and I was not disappointed. This summer I went again. Forget Friday or Saturday, midweek was the best with live jazz. I had this wonderful seared tuna appetizer and a delicious filet. (Although I had the meat temperature to well done, it didn't taste like overdone cardboard. Still, juicy... The whole experience was well worth it, and was pleased that the prices were so much more reasonable than Newport. Plus, we didn't have to deal with no parking and too many tourists.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Hungery2Dine

                  Hard to take a reco from someone who eats their steak well done. :)

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    Unfortunately I have to agree with you. I have been a regular at Simpatico for years, loved the place. My wife and I went this past Thursday and were less than thrilled. I planned on duck, but it is not on the current menu. The service was outside and the waitress was a frickin ditz who could have cred a less wheter we were there of not. She started by telling us the app special but could not remember the "Avacado thingy sauce" that came with it. That's it! We then overheard the waitress from another table list off about FIVE specials. The food service was slow, the food was bland. I do not know what the deal is, Simpatico has ALWAYS been very good, this past weeks experience there was extremely dissappointing...

                    1. re: Sean

                      We just came back from dropping our daughter off at camp, and decided to go to Jamestown. We ended up at Simpatico, and had a really nice experience. Service was good, although I wasn't sure why the waitress took the bread away before the entrees came. We had crabcakes as an appetizer, which were delicious. The mixed green salad was simple and delicious, with a nice dressing. For entrees, I had farfalle with smoked salmon, peas, and baby spinach in a tomato cream sauce. Not much spinach, and it did benefit from the black pepper, but I really enjoyed it, and had leftovers to bring home. My husband enjoyed his vegetarian pad thai. The live jazz and beautiful weather added to a really pleasant experience. Timing may have helped, as we ate around 5pm on a Sunday.