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Apr 25, 2011 05:06 PM

Naples- Europeo di Matozzi

We had a very bad experience there Saturday night...arrived and with some difficulty placed our order...the waiter was not very helpful. We watched as others that came in after us received their food and we continued to wait. Finally, after complaining we got our meals, which were nothing to rave about. When it was time to pay the bill, Alfonso, the owner, only gave us a total and then added a 10% service charge, nothing was itemized. We questioned the amount because it was well above what we figured it out to be, but he basically ignored us and practically pushed us out the door. We didn't take it further because we felt uncomfortable, but it left us with a bad taste in our mouth for Naples....until we had a wonderfu meal at Hosteria Toledo, where Anna made us feel like family.

Hosteria Toledo
Vico Giardinetto, 78, Naples, Campania 80132, IT

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  1. glad you loved Hosteria Toledo - and so sorry about Europeo di Mattozzi.. Its a shame that when a meal starts to go wrong it usually continues to the bitter end. And somehow those bad nights usually end with an unexpected and inappropriate service charge (we had one like this,at a place we had previously liked very much, in NY chinatown a few years ago and also one at Da Fiore in Venice that still rankles, but I am sorry that it happened in Naples!)

    Look forward to hearing more about your trip

    Europeo di Mattozzi
    Via Marchese Campidisola 4, Naples , IT

    Hosteria Toledo
    Vico Giardinetto, 78, Naples, Campania 80132, IT

    7 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      I'm adding to this year-old thread because I had a dismal experience of Europeo di Mattozzi just a few nights ago. This restaurant is recommended in the Slow Food guide, and while the food was quite nice, the service is insulting. I would never return.

      I also ate very good food at Hosteria Toledo (also recommended in the Slow Food guide), and received marvelous, personally attentive treatment, despite the restaurant being very busy on a Sunday night (it's one of the few Slow Food recommended restaurants open on a Sunday night in Naples). One fears that this truly family restaurant will simply be overwhelmed by the number of tourists who descend upon it, but it is run with great integrity and care for its guests. We ate a delicious antipasti of mixed vegetables, spaghetti with clams, and fried baby squids. When they were out of the dessert I requested, they made me a special plate of several other of the desserts and fresh fruit. Noting that we had ordered a wine from ischia, they offered me a glass of an amaro from ischia to finish my meal. Everything was very nice indeed.

      1. re: barberinibee

        fortunately or unfortunately, Naples sees very few tourists, so they should be safe!! We really loved Hostaria Toledo too.

        what was the problem with the service at Europeo, if I may ask? We had hoped to visit some time but not if it willbe unpleasant, obviously.

        1. re: jen kalb

          As tourists, we were ignored....locals got their food way before we did...they didn't help when we asked questions.....and by the way, we were speaking italian.....cheated us with the bill..uncomfortable and unfriendly...this was a big change from the first time we went there.....the first time we went for lunch and there was not many people there...2nd time was an evening with many locals...don't waste a meal....go to Toledo.....and there are plenty of other places.

          1. re: jen kalb

            I reserved ahead at Europeo di Mattozzi, and when we arrived, we were led past the half-filled but lively windowed dining room facing the street to a cramped, hot and dreary back room where one unhappy family with small children was finishing up an early meal of pizze. When the host caught my look, he whipped the reservation card bearing my husband's name off the table with great fanfare, and made a phony show of insisting they'd reserved this prized table especially for us.

            I let it pass, figuring my American-accented telephone call had doomed us to being placed where an English-speaking waiter would serve us. When the waiter arrived with menus in English, we asked for ones in Italian. He pretended not to understand us. We were shortly joined in the room by a young French honeymooning couple, who got similar treatment, although the young man's Italian was fluent. He interpreted the waiter's behavior as joking, and made fun of his own Italian, asking to learn Neopolitan dialect. The waiter's escalating insults made no impression on his cheerful attitude.

            Several times, while eating our mixed seafood antipasta, the waiter hovered at our table, impatient to take our plates. He finally interrupted out conversation to point out the sun-dried tomatoes we'd yet to eat were edible, implying we should get on with it.

            The sad family left, and was shortly replaced by a good-looking Italian foursome dressed in yacht-type outfits, and the men in the group who were clearly outraged at their seating in the tourist ghetto. The host fluttered all around them trying to soothe them, the waiter rushed to bring them apertivi -- to no avail. They finally were relocated to the front room as soon as possible, with many obsequious apologies from the host.

            At this point, it suddenly dawnedon the French honeymooners that maybe they were on the losing end of a class struggle here, and they looked utterly deflated. The waiter tried one more insult, but even he was embarrassed at that point to see that their evening was spoiled. At that point he changed, and became more genuine with them, as he did with another young romantic couple who soon were seated near us, and the waiter even went so far as to submit to their request to have their picture taken at the table.

            But at that point we were done. On our way out the door, we got the same near kick-in-the-pants, when a hostess we had not seen before almost physically steered us outside and slammed the door behind us. I think now it was her job to make sure the door was kept shut from beggars outside.

            Naples may see very few tourists, but a great many of them are heading to Hosteria Toledo. When we arrived a touch early for our 8:30 reservation, every table was full with tourists on their dessert course, and the owner begged us for an indulgence of 10 minutes. We cooled our heels outside, and worried terrifically when an obviously Italian woman who obviously knew the owners edged into the door ahead of us. We figured we'd be given the shaft.

            However, she soon returned outside to join us in the wait line, and she pointed to the 1950s picture that is in the restaurant's window. "That's me" she said, indicating a cute little girl in the picture. "That's my mother, and there's my brother" -- and now she pointed at the host inside. She'd come by unannounced to get a dinner, but learned she'd have to wait until all the people with reservations got fed, and she was cheerful about it.

            While we were eating, the entire upper floor of the restaurant disgorged an group of at least 20 tourists on a group tour, all of them led out of the restaurant by a group tour leader. I don't know what kind of a tour they were on, but plainly their group leader was a familiar face at the restaurant.

            Despite all this tourist impact, the food was great, the service was terrific and unpretentious, everybody got fed --- including not only the sister, who finally got a table, but her brother and his wife, who sat down to eat with the rest of us as we were finishing up our coffee. We had to wait to pay until the owner's wife finished her main course -- but we really didn't mind.

            1. re: barberinibee

              thanks for the full report. Im really sorry since I have heard over and over how good Europeo's food is. There are so many friendly restaurateurs in this area that there is no reason for any of us to subject ourselves to abuse. its going off our list, at least.

              1. re: jen kalb

                I'll echo the thanks, as well as your enthusiasm for Hostaria Toledo. I thought the classics there were exemplary. We had a fairly lackluster dinner at Mattozi and I never had the desire to return. Now I certainly won't pay a second visit.

                1. re: erica

                  I was treated fairly well when I was there and got a table in the main room. While the food was good it was my least favorite restaurant of all the ones we went to in Naples. I was there six days. Thank you Jen - I mostly went to places that you and Katie Parla recommended and had terrific meals.

                  I read about Hostaria Toledo on here and was all excited to try it. When we got there I recognized it and realized I had been there for dinner about 5 years earlier and really liked it and just did't know the name since we had just wandered by it and went in.