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Cafe Caldesi, Marylebone, London

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Had a dinner at Caffe Caeldesi on Marylebone Lane which is the informal sister restaurant to Caldesi, the Tuscan Restaurant. Overall, the food was medicore and the service fairly awful.

Starter (Funghi selvatici sul letto di polenta morbida e tartufo nero) -- Polenta was overly dry, mushrooms were rubbery and tasteless, and the truffles were OK, I guess.

Primi (Risotto con formaggio di capra, porri e tartufo nero) -- Not sure why I went down the truffle route again, but the risotto was severely undercooked. When I approached the waitress, she told me (in a condescending tone) that Italians prefer it "al dente." I absolutely hate it when restaurants tell me this -- obviously I know what al dente is, and the fact that the rice is crispy means that it is certainly not just al dente, but undercooked. And there was not nearly enough butter in the rice.

My date had the pasta special which I cannot pull off the website, but it was excellent. So maybe I was just unlucky.

Service -- the waiters were nice enough, but seemed more interested in conversation with each other. The aforementioned manager also did not seem to take my criticism of the riosotto very seriously. However, they did not charge for the risotto (I only noticed when they handed me the bill -- they never told me they were removing the item).

Would avoid if possible.

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  1. Sorry to hear of this negative experience, as I have suggested this place often to people looking for authentic, reasonable Italian meal. I've never tried the risotto there. Have found the pastas excellent. I've not had a problem with the service. In any case, for the sake of knowledge I'll drop by to try the risotto and report back. BB