Ristorante Barolo, Italian Dining in Aptos

I don’t always write a review about the restaurants I go to.  I go to hundreds and hundreds of restaurants, I try find something I like in each restaurant I go to so I can leave there somewhat happy.  I however had my worst restaurant experience EVER recently, and I just have to write about it.  Having gone through culinary school I know what is involved in the front and the back of the house.  They are both hard jobs and they have to come together to make one great experience.  Sometimes, if the food isn’t up to par, I don’t have a problem going back another night to give it another chance.  But if the service is lousy for no particular reason, I usually don’t have the patience for that and tend to not want to go back again.

The restaurant I am referring to is Ristorante Barolo, 8041 Soquel Drive Aptos, 831-688-8654, is located in the historical Bayview Hotel in the Santa Cruz area.  This hotel and building dates back to 1878!  That is old for California!  Anyways, my son Jacob, his girlfriend Brittany and I had 1 1/2 hours to have a nice leisurely breakfast before Brittany had to head off for school.  We were aiming at the Cafe Sparrow, across the street from Barolo but they didn’t open until 11:30 and it was 11:15.  We decided to try Barolo instead of waiting the 15 minutes for the Sparrow to open.  When we walked in we weren’t greeted.  After a couple minutes we walked around looking for someone to seat us.  We found a server and she sat us down in the nice patio room.  After a few minutes we realized that she wasn’t going to bring us menus so I got up and got them.  We were there just as breakfast was turning over to lunch but we were still allowed to order breakfast.  Breakfast is from 8:00-11:30 and lunch is from 11:30-2:30.

Our server finally came over and took our drink order.  We ordered decaf coffee and one orange juice for Jacob and Brittany to split.  We received two glasses of juice and my coffee.  We were curious, but didn’t say anything.  She took our order of eggs benedict, French toast, and an omelet with salsa and avocado.  Nothing too taxing.  We waited and waited and waited for our food.  To give a little bit of background, there was one other couple being served at the same time, there was a family who was done eating and us.  One server, and hopefully a chef.  Brittany was getting antsy as her time was getting closer for her to leave and we hadn’t even received our food yet.  In the time that we waitied I could have gone into the the unfamiliar kitchen and cooked everything and been faster than the current chef was!  Jacob’s French toast finally came out and Brittany ended up munching that down, even though she had ordered the omelet, because she needed to go.  Just as Brittany was leaving we received the rest of our order.  The food was good but nothing to come back again for.  I liked the atmosphere in the front porch room and the bar area seems nice and rustic.  Jacob and I finished our meal, asked for the check and were out of there after TWO hours!  On top of everything else we were charged for two orange juices!  This experience was over a month ago and I still have a very bad taste in my mouth.

I hope that for their sake they have better service for their dinners, but I’m in no hurry to go and try it out.  If you dare to go, please let me know how the experience was.

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