Pavarotti in Reading?
My husband and I dined at Pavarotti on Thursday evening. When we arrived, the owner was down back chatting with a couple. We waited a few minutes and then the waitress came over to us to seat us. She handed us the menus and walked away. A few minutes later she came back to tell us about the evening specials (no prices were mentioned). She then asked us if we had any questions and we said no, but we would like to order drinks. We proceeded to order drinks and an order of Clams Casino. They were the worst Clams Casino I have ever had. They smelt and were very fishy.
We then order our dinners. My husband ordered the Veal Chop (sp) and I had Shrimp and Brocelli Alfredo. I was asked if I wanted it over spaghetti or ziti. I chose ziti. The dinners came and my husband veal chop looked scrumptous although his came with one roasted potato. My dish was very bland and the pasta was overcooked. I asked for parmasan cheese and the owner who overheard me proceeded to come to the table and said that in Italy they do not put cheese on their fish. Okay I thought..... I was halfway through my meal, when I found a hair in my mouth. I quickly wisked it away with my hand and my husband said "was that a hair". I said yes. Obviously I was done. My husband finished his meal and we talked about whether to bring it up or not. I said we should say something, but since the restaurant is small, just be discreet. In the meantime the owner was now sitting with two friends at the table beside us. I told my husband not to make a big deal about the hair. He headed to the Men's room as he headed back to the table he politely grabbed the waitress in the back and mentioned that I had found a hair in my dish. She was surprised and said "oh my". Shortly later she brought the bill and mentioned that she deducted a round of drinks from the bill. She also said that the owner was going to come by and speak with us. I was confused becasue I thought the owner was sitting beside us. We squared up the bill and she again asked us to wait for the owner. We said that is okay and got up to leave. We got up and proceeded to leave the restaruant and no sooner did we shut the door, the owner (the guy sitting at the table next to us) came running out the door to speak to us. He asked us how was your dinner and I said it was fine. My husband then said my wife found a hair in her food. He looked at me and and said how could that be. He said both of my chefs have short hair and I brought your dinners to the table. I was so taken back by his tone and rudness that I was speechless. My husband said we did not want to make a big deal about it and we told the waitress that, but we wanted you to know. He said, how does that happen. I then spoke up and said maybe it was my hair, but nontheless, I was not going to continue my dinner. He said that cannot be. We both shrugged and turned and walked away. I got into the car and said to my husband I will NEVER go back. I could not believe that this man wanted to argue with me. He made me feel as though I lied. As it was the bill was still $96. I live here in Reading and will never go there again, nor will I recommend it to anyone. By the way the Veal Chop was $34.95 a little pricey for Reading.
I have had dinner there recently and was underwhelmed. But they are still new and could make changes.
I was disappointed by their very limited wine-by-the-glass options. They basically carry only a single producer, Delicato, plus a single Chianti. Both are very inexpensive, ok wines but also very forgettable wines. The wines by the bottle offer more variety, many priced in the $20s and $30s, yet there are still a number of forgettable wines there as well.
As for the food menu, there are a limited number of appetizers, generally costing $10-15, and the least expensive salad is $7.95. They have plenty of entree choices, incuding pasta, seafood, chicken, veal and more. There is actually a list of about ten different and interesting preparations for chicken or veal, and all are priced the same, $16.95 for chicken and $19.95 for veal.
Prior to your food, you get a basket of sliced Italian bread with oil. The bread was fresh but neither warm nor special.
I ordered the Chicken Saltimboca, which consisted of two, thin cutlets that had been folded over prosciutto and melted cheese, and in a sherry wine sauce. The dish came with ziti in a red sauce, and that was your only pasta option. Why is that? Almost every other Italian restaurant I know at least gives you the option of spaghetti or ziti, and the better ones give you even more choices. The dish also came with some roasted potatoes. Overall, the chicken was good, tender and flavorful, and the sauce was tasty. I liked the dish though I did not consider it exceptional.
I also got an antipasto ($11.95) to go. As I carried it to my car, I could tell by its light weight that it might be lacking. Most times a good antipasto is quite heavy, filled with plenty of meat, cheese and veggies. When I got it home, I confirmed that it tended to be on the smaller side and was an ok salad. But still not comparable to much of the competition out there.
Service was very good and the owner, Massimo, was also present and making sure that everything ran smoothly.
I think the restaurant reallty needs to step up its game to be competitive, especially as Venetian Moon is a formidable competitor. Ristorante Pavarotti needs to do everything they can to stand out, to be above the ordinary. And they are not yet doing that,