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Dec 20, 2007 01:34 PM

Amarone was....meh.

Went to Amarone with my guy expecting a great Italian meal. We had read rave reviews! Anyhow, the place is very charming, and the free glass of Prosecco to start the meal. We ordered the swordfish carpaccio, which was yummy -- I would recommend. But the burrata plate we got was a disaster. The piece of burrata was frozen through. There were little ice crystals inside it! Therefore, it tasted like chalk. My date's pasta dish with rigatoni and sausage was way too salty. However, my plate of spaghetti pomodoro was good. Nothing to fawn over, but it was pretty darn tasty.
However, we had a truly bizarre wine situation. I spotted a bottle of my fave chiani riserva on the list, and ordered it up. By the time they had cut the foil off the bottle (but hadn't touched the cork) I noticed that they didn't bring up the riserva. It was a non-reserve wine from a later year. So I told the server, who excused himself. He pretended to consult something on the sidetable and returned to our table to tell us there were no bottles of riserva left. I looked over and saw that he had just consulted a stack of napkins. Anyhow, he assured us this other bottle was great. I asked him if it was the same price, remembering I saw this bottle at a cheaper price. He said it was the same price as the riserva. I asked him to double check. He looked at a wine list at another table and returned and told us again it was the same. At this point, I just want a drink, so I told him to open it up. At the end of the meal, on our bill, they had charged us for the bottle of riserva. I asked to see a wine list. Sure enough, the bottle our server had given us was cheaper, yet I was still charged the price for the other bottle. SO, we had them re-do the bill, but I left there feeling like they were being dishonest and trying to rip me off.
I really don't see what the hype is all about here.
Save your money and go to Capo instead!

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  1. Here is the menu from its website:
    Does this look similar to the one you ordered from? Don't see anything on it that would make me rush out to dine there specifically. But since the prices are not shown, is it really as expensive as Capo?
    That stretch of Sunset is not known for successful restaurants serving high priced food. Maybe they will find this out as well and drop the prices - LOL!

    1 Reply
    1. re: carter

      Sorry to hear of the OP's bad experience. I was once at a restaurant in San Diego where a similar thing happened. The person doing the ordering noticed the switch and asked for the price, and it was lower and the bill changed accordingly. I guess the lesson is one has to be vigilant.

      Amarone is one of my favorite Italian reds, so I looked at their website provided by carter. While their menu does not look anything special, I must say their wine collection, specially the amarones, is amazing. I might have to go over to this restaurant just for the wine!

    2. Sorry you had a bad experience - the two times I've been there, I've been treated super-well, and have always enjoyed everything I've had. The grilled squid is quite nice, and the handmade pastas are great - I had the sausage one once, which I enjoyed (and didn't find too salty), and a special one with speck and mushrooms which was also great. I especially like the toothiness of the pastas. I don't think it's terribly expensive either (but that might be because we've gotten prosecco, dessert, and dessert wine comped for some unknown reason). It's one of my new favorite restaurants in town.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jacinthe

        Went back to Amarone a couple nights ago after our 1st visit 5 months ago. It was still really good, but not as many freebies, and the portion of the grilled octupus appetizer was noticeably smaller. Had 2 glasses of prosecco (free last time), deep fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta cheese (could've been crispier) and hubby had the aforementioned grilled octupus and cannelini bean appetizer. The octupus is tender and well seasoned, just ain't much of it. Then on to spaghetti with lobster (special) and pan-roasted branzino fillet with baby veggies. Both were very tasty with good size portions. Lots of lobster in the pasta with perfectly al dente pasta. Branzino cooked to tender flaky goodness with a buttery crust. Dessert was creme brulee, nothing spectacular (free dessert last time.) 2 glasses of moscato on the house. Bill was $206, with the addition of 4 glasses of Amarone (excellent!) and a bottle of Evian (hubby forgot to say we wanted tap water.) We won't be going back for a while b/c it was a little pricey. I guess they're feeling the economy? Or maybe they're just not giving away freebies anymore b/c they've been open for a while.