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Feb 11, 2012 08:31 PM

Lino's Italian Restaurant in Rochester (DTW)

So, I haven't seen any mentions of this place on the boards, but we go there occasionally. It's too heavy for us to eat there regularly, and it's not like Giovanni's, but it does the trick, and it is certainly far better than the chains. It is also way less expensive than Silver Spoon (which we have yet to try, but I know from reading the menu online).

I almost always order the eggplant parmesan, if they have it, and their gorgonzola gnocchi (the gnocchi is homemade) is wonderful--soft and pillowy. I've also had the portobello ravioli, which were great. The only thing I'm not a fan of is their salad, which was a little wilted last time we were there, and the single tomato wedge, which was probably never great (it IS February after all!) had obviously been refrigerated for a long while.

The place itself is very old school, with ambiance (low lighting, dark wood) and lots of older guys speaking Italian. It doesn't look like much from the outside ,but you usually need reservations on a weekend night.

I've only had their dessert once, when it was my birthday and they brought me a free something-or-other... tiramisu, I think (that was a few years ago).

Do other Hounds know about this place, or just not fans?

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  1. Never heard of them. I'll put them on our to-do list.

    1. Strange to say that this is in the same plaza as the gym I go to, and have still never been here. No real reason we haven't...just never thought to. What are the prices like?

      1 Reply
      1. re: boagman

        Not too bad.

        I did go back and look at the general midwest archive, as I thought that's where I heard about it. So it was mentioned there a few times. I overlooked it many times when we first got here, but now I always look forward to it. I DO wish they'd fix their house salad--I feel like they just do that because they're expected to.

      2. I went there this past fall with friends who used to live in Michigan. He is Italian and they love it. Two of us had the gnocchi and it was delicious. I agree about the salad and atmosphere...both made me feel like I had stepped back into the 70's. The place is small and easy to pass by, as I had for years. However it was packed inside and I remember the hostess telling us they had 125 kids in the basement for homecoming. It didn't cause any delay in our service. The only thing that bothered me was the attitude of our waiter, he was really rude. I should go back...thanks for the reminder.

        1. A short rant on honesty.

          Clicked the web page and no prices on the menu.

          Restaurants that are ashamed of or hiding their prices are probably prone to hide something else ( that I prefer not to know about). So, delete these restaurants from my list of places to try.

          The excuse of “prices are subject to change” is just that, an excuse.

          8 Replies
          1. re: au lait

   some people are misguided.....if I were to open a place and serve market items it’s unreasonable or "dishonest' for me to say prices subject to change?????

            What if an item tripled over a short period of time...Am I as the small business owners suppose to take over the difference????

            Am I as a small business owner supposes to employee a person to update my website every time an item goes up at market?

            Please advise how to handle au lait???????????

            1. re: pmh2244

              I have to agree... I've never been to Lino's so I can't comment on them, but I have no problem with a place not posting prices on their website. The price of goods has been pretty volatile over the past few years and if a restaurant adjusts their prices to compensate for that I don't fault them for it. It is pretty easy to get an idea of a restaurant and thus have an idea of what you expect to pay and rarely have I found a restaurant to deviate too far from my expectations.

              For arguments sake I'll take it to the extreme, if you are a small restaurant who sources all your products locally, how could you be expected to have a set price that is constant over the year?

              If you are seriously concerned about the price of a meal varying by a few dollars each time you visit a restauant then I suggest you seek out your "local" olive garden... I bet you can find their prices online and they will be identical across the country, but to me THAT is a warning sign.

              1. re: rcloud

                A Facebook page is free, and you can post to it any time. It is so very easy to post "today's menu" or a recent "sample menu" there. If someone is typing menu items, descriptions and prices into a computer, it takes about 15 seconds to upload said document to Facebook. And perhaps another 10 seconds to remove an obsolete list.

                Cafe Cortina does not publish their menu, but will email you one if you ask. I think that's silly.

                Kruse & Muer restaurants publish menus without prices and I find that irritating. I have in hand a carry-out menu from one of their locations, which I intend to share with Allmenus, Yelp, etc. Anyone can walk in their door and grab a printed carry-out menu from a stack of them at the hostess' stand, so what the point of the secrecy?

                It's not a matter of a few dollars, necessarily. The difference in average entree prices between my two examples, for example, is enormous. I want some idea of what I'll be paying before I head to a place for dinner.

                1. re: ak994

                  I think it would be great if small restaurants posted daily menus online, but think of the audience that will be reading daily menus... Regulars who already know the price point. A daily menu posted online to me has great value, but not bc I need to find out a price before I'll go to the restaurant.

                  1. re: rcloud

                    It sounds to me like Lino's has a standard menu that is posted online, not a daily changing menu. I *think* au lait's main issue is that the owners took the time to post a menu but purposely did not post the prices. We all know prices are subject to change, and many establishments print that disclaimer as well, along with the base menu prices.

                    I understand au lait's viewpoint in that it frustrates me as well when a restaurant does not print their prices on their online menu. I know it it may change by a couple of dollars, but I would like to have a baseline. There are many circumstances where this is helpful information to have on your website -for example, when a group is deciding where to dine together and some have a strict budget.

                    Just recently, I purchased a restaurant gift certificate for someone, using online menus as my guide. I was deciding between two restaurants, and one of them did not have their prices posted. I went with the other.

                    If I were just looking to dine at a restaurant for myself and my husband, then, no, it's not that much of an issue, and not having their prices posted online wouldn't keep me from visiting. All in all, I find it irritating but not criminal.

                    1. re: tokyo

                      It is irritating when restaurants do this, I agree. however, because I have been there recently, I can vouch for Lino's in this regard because is not that expensive Because it really isn't one of those $40 for a steak sorts of places, it would seem odd that they would feel the need to hide their prices. The eggplant parmesan I had last time was ... maybe... $13.95? Of course, my own disclaimer:I'm a vegetarian and would never order meat or finish, which tend to be the most expensive.

                      1. re: tokyo

                        Very good points Tokyo. I can definitely see the value in posting prices online. I've never been to Lino's so I didn't know if it was a case were they had a changing or fixed menu.

                        Perhaps the best solution for restaurants would be to post a range of their prices on their website...

                        That way customers can get a feel for the price point before they go and restaurants wouldn't have to deal with upset customers who get upset when the price they are charged differs from an exact stated price online.

                        1. re: rcloud

                          Lino's posted this on their menu:
                          Entrées range from $13.00 to $25.00