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Jan 2, 2009 06:39 PM

Caffe Italia in Wakefield

I was eagerly anticipating going to Caffe Italia tonight as I missed it desperately. They closed their East Boston location several months ago and I was thrilled to discover they reopened in Wakefield. Well, this was one of the worst dining experiences of my life. I will NEVER go back.

We had a reservation and were seated promptly. It took the waitress over ten minutes to come over for our drink order. We ordered drinks and dinner at the same time. Drinks arrive, I take one sip of mine and it had a funny taste. Can't describe it any other way, but it just tasted off. I called her over and apologized politely, but said it tasted off and could the bartender make another one. Her tone immediately changed -- there went the friendliness! -- and she said okay. She brings another one, I take a sip, same thing. My dining companion suggested I just get a glass of wine instead, which I do. I apologize again (even though it's not my fault you have a terrible bartender!) and the waitress disappears for several minutes, obviously annoyed. I wonder if I'm going to get my wine at all. Finally she reappears with the wine.

The menu has changed considerably from the East Boston days (and gone are the wonderful smells of garlic permeating the restaurant!), but I did find the one pasta dish which was my favorite. It was fettucine with sausage, broccoli rabe, and sundried tomatoes. It was terrible. Bland, overcooked rabe, and the sausage tasted like turkey sausage, not Italian sausage. Caesar salad was good. We finish our meals, order coffee, and then she brings the check. A few minutes later, she comes over and says "Is this all set?" and starts to pick up the billfold. No, we haven't even looked at it. Never asks us if we'd like more coffee, if everything was okay, etc. I always tip 20%, but not to this waitress. Very, very disappointing meal and service.

Yet the restaurant was full. Go figure. I'd like to think that maybe I just hit it on an off night, but I won't go there again.

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  1. OMG I haven't posted in awhile and wasn't going to post about my dining experience because it was so negative until I saw yours. I couldn't get over what a terrible experience I had at this restaurant. My DC didn't want to go and I convinced him to go and I should have listened because I was furious throughout the whole meal due to poor service and food. I had a special and while it was cooked well, it was bland and too dry, definitely needed a sauce. Sides didn't coordinate. I knew the waitress so felt I had to leave 20% which I routinely do but I would never have done this otherwise. Cannot see this place lasting, the Indian restaurant that had been there previously at least had very good food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 4chowpups

      Glad to see I wasn't the only one! The waitress said it was the same owner and the same chef, but I can't believe it. The food was like night and day compared to the East Boston location. Oh forgot to mention that she made a mistake adding up our bar tab, which I called her on, so of course that further increased her annoyance with us.

      I'll stick to Gaetanos from now on!

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      1. you know they have a Cafe Italia in Marblehead that does a decent job..its not the greatest Italian you're going to find, but its not any different from the East Boston location (which was always just a good little place nothing special) in terms of food quality...worth checking out if you loved the Eastie spot so much

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        1. The original comment has been removed