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Jul 6, 2009 08:31 AM

Pappacelle, Simsbury CT - don't go!

This is a little long, sorry but I want to get the details in.
As there is somewhat of a dearth of good eateries in this area (though some interesting ones coming soon), we were delighted to discover Pappacelle's. Good food, a little different from the "red-sauce" Italians. We ate there once, loved it; ate there was OK and the last time...We sat at the bar and had appetizers withour wine. The service was terrible but. we decided to live with it. My bruschetta was tasteless, my husband's pizza was to come with basil but came instead piled high with arugula and BLACK on the bottom. We ate a couple of slices and commented on the odd flavour before turning it over to see the base at whoch poit we returned it.
OK, here's the real issue. The bill came $48 for 4 glasses of wine, $4 for the bruschetta and $4 for the pizza. When we said that we did not feel that we should be charged for a pizza that came with the wrong ingredients and was a solid black underneath, the "maanager" (last time we were there he was the chef...go figure) came out and told us that as we had eaten some we had to pay the $4. He said that he knew that we had eateb there before. When I told him that we would pay his $4 but not come vback he said "that would be just fine"!!!
Of note - we are not onboxious customers; we did not protest the tasteless but inofensive bruschetta!. The fact that he will stand over burnt food with the wrong ingredients and not suck up $4 for repeat customers who happily pay $12 for a glass of wine rells me that they won't be around for long - and shouldn't be.

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  1. I must agree with you about Pappacelle; I've eaten there three times recently (lunch and dinner) and although I have no complaints about the food, the service was painfully slow and unattentive each and every time. I am extremely patient and reasonable when eating out, but I can't sit through another 2+ meal with no drink, water, nonexistent bill, etc.. It's a shame, as it is in a beautiful setting and they have a nice menu.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Meesch70

      oops, meant to say "2+ HOUR meal"!

    2. Agreed! I'm not typically one to "bash" a restaurant, but if anyplace deserves bashing, it's Pappacelle! We walked in around 6:30 pm one evening and were the ONLY ones in the place so we sat at the bar. The owner/chef took our drink order but seemed annoyed that he was being disturbed. We ordered two appetizers and two entrees -- instead of the calamari on the menu, we were served a bowl of calamari swimming in oil, which was basically raw. When we questioned him, he snapped "I thought you wanted the 'special' calamari" even though he had never MENTIONED any specials! He stormed off to get us what we had initially ordered. The rest of the meal was mediocre, at best -- and that's being generous. It was too expensive for the quality, and if the OWNER can't even pretend to be interested in what he's serving, why does he deserve to stay in business? Terraza Italia, just down the road in Simsbury, is much better, as is La Trattoria in Canton.

      And anyone who wants to sample great basic food, at a reasonable price and with excellent service shoudl try Abigail's Grille in Simsbury -- wonderfully consistent and always an enjoyable dining experience!

      3 Replies
      1. Thanks for the reminder about YELP; I have been lax about posting my experiences there!

        1. re: Paul3995

          Wow, I'm very surprised about all these comments on Papacelle's service issues. I've eaten there a number of times and found the service fine. I enjoyed the food as well. I totally disagree with Paul. Terraza Italia and Trattoria are very average in my opinion. Papacelle tries to be different and inventive. They take chances. It is not your typical red sauce Italian place. Do they hit a home run with every dish? No but they certainly don't have too many strikeouts. There are two brothers who are chefs/owners. David is one of them and he always comes out of the kitchen and moves from table to table asking for feedback. He has always been cordial and friendly. Maybe it's his brother who is the meanie. The brothers' mother is often at the hostess station and she is a delight. If the rain would ever stop, their outside patio seems like a good place to have a few drinks and listen to Jazz. All in all, I've enjoyed Papacelle but it seems I may be in the minority.

          1. re: chowmensch

            Actually I think it was David who was the "manager" on this occasion; we have been there when he has been the chef and come out of the kitchen as you say. Their mother was not there this time - she always was before so maybe that has something to do with it. It really is a pity as the setting and patio are lovely....