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Jun 23, 2012 11:52 AM

Pizza Barbone-Hyannis....disappointing.

I want to like this place. I REALLY want to like it. The build out is beautiful. The Italian wood burning oven is one of a kind. The service help is plentiful and seemingly happy. The ever present owner clearly works hard and has put his heart and soul into the place.

The pizza? It's absolutely delicious and unique to the Cape. The ingredients are first rate. The crust has a nice flavorful chew with a slight char. The romaine salad had a wonderful house made Caesar dressing, with house made garlic ciabatta crouton and a high quality Parmesan.

So what's the problem? One shouldn't have to leave hungry after splitting a pizza ($15) and a salad ($8) for a lunch for two. Add in 2 sodas and a 20% tip and the bill is $34. For a tiny pizza. that is maybe 12". And the salad portion was downright insulting. The lettuce barely covered the bottom of a small oval plate. To call it a side salad would be an insult to side salads everywhere, but it's not a side salad. In fact, one could have supposedly made a meal of it by adding say, chicken, for an additional $4. Honestly, a four year old would go away hungry after that meal. We mentioned our displeasure to the waitress, who admitted the portion was tiny and promised to tell the owner of our displeasure. Her only answer to us to rectify our displeasure, however, was to ask if we wanted to order another one? I really can't comprehend the thinking. We're only talking lettuce here. It needed about three times the portion to be semi-reasonable. And the pizza is very good, just priced about 30% too high for what you get. It's not like there are no alternatives on Main Street. I'll stick with Palio's and Colombo's for now. Hopefully Barbone starts to "get it" or Main Street will see another vacancy in short order. Shame really. Just finished lunch about 30 minutes ago. Gotta run and go make a sandwich.

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  1. I would voice my displeasure directly to the "ever present owner". I never take the no (do you want to order another?) from someone not empowered to say yes

    2 Replies
    1. re: sakeandgin

      That's a fair point, but I think it would be inappropriate to have a discussion regarding price/value of his menu while the man is working a 1000 degree wood burning oven. I sent him a private message after the fact, and he responded. I will refrain from publishing it, however, as it what was a private correspondence.

      1. re: CapeCodGuy

        Thanks, CCG, for the review. It will makes my decision easier with only two excellent pizza options.

    2. 12 inches is a pretty small, "personal" pizza. Was it billed as such on the menu? I wouldn't expect to be able to split something like that.

      Of course, that makes your issue with "value" only worse. If they can continue to get $15 for a artisanal wood fired pizza in this resort town, let them.

      1. I agree. My husband and I went for dinner on Saturday June 23. We ordered two salads and a pizza, and two beers. The whole meal cost $50 and we left hungry. The pizza and the salads were good, but extremely small and very expensive. These are probably NYC prices at best, but surely not for the cape! My sister and brother in law and their two kids went for dinner the same night-$70 and left hungry! None of us have big appetites, either. $15 for an individual pizza is very, very expensive. We ordered the mushroom one-it had maybe 4 regular cutup mushrooms as toppings and a nice cheese. Big deal. Who ever heard of a caprese salad that is individual? THat's meant to be shared.
        It's too bad-this is the kind of place that one tries once, but not again. Palio's has NOTHING to worry about. With these prices and the size of the meals, Pizza Barbone will not make it. Either he drops the prices considerably by 30% or he increases the size considerably. It will cost him pennies to make a bigger pizza, but it will save his business.

        I just hope the owner reads these reviews and gets it. No, really, he will lose his shirt over pennies worth of pizza dough.

        PS: the crostini sounds good, but why would you want to have a pizza and crostini?! How much bread can one eat?!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Newenglander2

          Thanks for the post. I was starting to think maybe it's just me. I do hope he figures it out as I'd love to see him make a go of it.

          1. re: CapeCodGuy

            I hope folks contacted the owner direct to offer this important constructive feedback. I know I prefer hearing from my clients direct vs reading their complaints..change can only happen this way...wishing Pizza Barbone great success.

            1. re: phelana

              Fair point Ann, and yes, I have contacted Jason O'Toole, the owner privately and directly. Like you, I hope he has a longtime successful business

        2. Wow. I whole-heartedly disagree that this was a disappointment. Best pizza on Cape Cod. Hands down.

          Just went yesterday (Monday) for lunch for the first time and everything was awesome. The mozzerella, the ricottoa, the house made sausage, the perfect red sauce, the crust, the char (from the 900+ degree wood fired oven). The quality of ingredients (and cooking technique) are unparalleled at any other pizza place I've been on Cape Cod.
          I also had a salad at lunch.... it was heaping off my plate and would easily have been enough for 2 people to share.

          Pizza size? These aren't family sized pizzas - - - they are built for individuals, so figure you need 1 per person. And to me, $15 per adult doesn't seem too pricey for what amounts to an entree - - - because at this place, the pizza is the entree. I'm completely willing to pay an extra $3 or $4 for something of this high quality and preparation.

          The decor was great. The staff was very nice. The owner very friendly and engaging (he let my kids come behind the counter and check out the oven and he let my son measure the temperature of the oven with a heat gun!). They even have a smaller 8" pizza for kids. And they offer shredded mozzerella on the kids pie instead of whole slices; the same mozz, but shredded so it is easier for the kids to cut and eat. Great family friendly touch there!

          Add it all up and no other Cape Cod pizza compares. In my 15 plus years of visiting Cape Cod I have always been disappointed in the pizza options. Now I'm actually telling people I can't wait to get back to Cape Cod for the pizza!!

          For all that, an extra couple bucks is completely worth it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: foleyd7

            NIce follow-up report foleyd, thanks for posting. I'm very happy to hear that the owner has responded positively to the criticism regarding the size of the salads. Had ours been "overflowing off the plate" as yours, instead of barely covering the plate, it would have gone a long way in starting our meal off on the right foot. And we seem to agree that the quality and taste of the pizza, the decor, the owner and the staff are all first-rate.

            Pizza size? Perhaps this boils down to expectation. Had you read my report beforehand so you knew what to expect? I ask because we went in blind. Nowhere on his web site, nor on the menu, does it say that these are "personal" pizzas. In fact, neither location even mentions that these are tiny 12" pies. So we were a bit taken aback by a place that one must spend over $50 for a lunch for two of a simple romaine salad and pizza, no matter how yummy. That's a bit more than just a "couple of extra bucks". It's still mostly lettuce and dough after all. The only description of a "personal" sized pizza is the weekday $9 lunch special of the 8" pizza and side salad or soda, so it would appear that the owner believes his pizzas can be shared.

            That said, the product is very good. My wish is that there was a large available for extra $$, but maybe that's just me. I do wish Pizza Barbone success.

            1. re: CapeCodGuy

              I didn't read your report before hand, but I did see the pizzas served to the table next to us, so we knew the size that was coming. We ordered a margherita and a sausage/ricotta for me and the wife, a sopresata for my son (8 yrs old), and a kids margherita for my daughter (6).
              For lunch, we were completely full and there was still a piece or 2 from the kids pies remaining.
              As for the salad, I'm curious if they did get feedback somewhere based on your experience and then adjust accordingly... when I got mine I actually made the comment that it was too much salad for 1 person (though that didn't stop me from finishing it!)

              1. re: foleyd7

                Yes, I know they got the feedback. I made sure to write the owner, who was nice enough to respond, regarding my experience. I didn't think it fair to post a review here, and not voice my issues directly while at the restaurant (he was too busy to do this appropriately) or follow up via email, which is what I did.

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