Owner Joe Salerno recreates his childhood memories of stirring sauces and making sausage in this popular downtown cafe. Voted the best Italian ... More
Piccolino's Italian Cafe
Owner Joe Salerno recreates his childhood memories of stirring sauces and making sausage in this popular downtown cafe. Voted the best Italian restaurant in Napa by locals, the menu features homemade pastas and sausages, fresh seafood and pizzas. Specialties include Veal Piccata and Fettucine Mare with a choice of three sauces. The family-style dinners include a choice of lasagna or two types of spaghetti, with bread. The wine list includes worthy offerings from local wineries as well as a few Italian wines. Follow dinner with an espresso and decadent dessert. There is live music Friday and Saturday nights.
Past dinning experiences have been pretty good. It's a casual local resturant not "fining dinning", but food quality has really gone down hill.
The calamari was dry and overcooked. The rubbed ribs were average and the BBQ sauce tasteless. The house salad was sadly limp (think warm)and tasteless. Butter for the warm bread arrived 10 to 15 mins. after the bread was no longer warm. On a positive note the clam chowder was good. The $9 charge for a glass of wine with a small 1/4 portion was a rip off.
Piccolino's is off of our list.
First of all it took 8 minutes to get service. Second is the waitress was rather pushy and wanted to get our selections ASAP. She never explained any of the menu items.
The food was terrible for the price I paid. I ordered the Rib Eye steak with truffle fries which ended up to be the hardest meat to chew with no taste. The fries could have been better in Mcdonalds. My wife ordered the schrimp scampi which tasted like it came from the freezer without any seasoning. My daughter ordered the french fries with chicken tenders. Although it wasnt tender at all, the chicken was sliced and fried leaving it hard on the sides. Apparently my daughter didnt enjoy the meal. The waitress passed by our table several times and never noticed my empty glass of soda. The only good thing was the calamari which was suprisingly good. The restaurant had a cheezy Italian feel to it. I am not an expert but I do go to North Beach in San Francisco alot to Italian restaurants that serve bigger portions with taste and flair to it. I dont recommend this restaurant at all.
Get better employees and maybe it will be worth another visit
By A Yahoo Contributor, 6/21/06
The live singer was nice. The food was average at best. The value was mediocre considering the average food and awful service.
About the very bad service: Granted we were a party of 9, but our waiter kept forgetting every detail. He'd offer ground pepper or grated cheese to 5 people and leave before offering the rest. That may seem petty but he did the same with ordering drinks and dessert! Two of our party were told their order was not available 25 minutes after we ordered. And then when they received it the sauce already had a skin. He never once came back during our meal to check on us. One person ordered decaf coffee which was delivered cold. He asked for a new cup and was given the same coffee obviously reheated in the microwave. After waiting over 15 minutes for the bill we sought out our waiter. Looking for some acknowledgement in the bar- the hostess avoided our eyes while eating her dinner.
Being Italian I am always on the lookout for good authentic Italian food. I have to say that Piccolino's fails on both accounts. The place was not busy and we still had to stand and wait as the staff seemed to ignore us. The hostess or manager was talking at the bar and did not see us. When we were finally seated it took way too long for a server to come over to our table. Once we ordered it again took a long time before the food arrived. From the soggy Bruschetta to the dry pork loin, the meal went from bad to worse. The wine list consisted of some good Napa and Sonoma wines but cheap Italian wines that anyone could purchase at Cost Plus and pay far less. The only thing that was truly enjoyable was the young man playing the accordion and singing Italian classics! In my opinion, he deserves to be on the world's concert stages and not in a place like Piccolino's.
After an afternoon of driving and touring Beringer Vineyard (nice, historic tour btw), we ended up a Piccolino's because it was easy to get to, and Italian sounded good.
We had a similar situation to other reviewers. The place wasn't full, but we weren't the only ones there. We were seated right away, a server (not ours) brought us water and bread right away, then told us our waitress would be right with us. The bread was okay, but the olive oil on the table for dipping was not olive oil (or was the cheapest quality)- it had no taste to it at all.
At least 7-10 minutes later we met our waitress. She told us about the specials, took our drink order, then left again, not to return for another 5 minutes. While we were waiting for her return, we noticed the table behind us was waiting for their bill (the bored looks on their faces and a table full of empty dishes gave it away). My husband asked if the service had been like this all night, and they said, yeah, at least the food was good. She came and took our order, and 30 minutes later our food arrived (we didn't see our waitress once while we waited for our food).
I wish I could say at least our food was good, but it's not the case. My seafood ravioli was the fishiest smelling seafood I've ever had (you can expect some smell, but this was a bit much). My husband's gnocchi was not done enough and very very bland- so much so he had to send it back after a few bites, and he eats anything.
The only good point was that she didnn't charge us for the gnocchi (which is good, since he couldn't eat it).
She took a long time to bring our check, and then even longer to bring us our change.
I would not reccomend this restaraunt to another person, there are plenty more places to choose from.
I live in the area and had friends who flew in from Orlando for a visit. We were seated immidiately, water and bread brought to the table, and menus left. Our server did not reappear for 20 minutes. We ordered dinner and our meal didnt arrive for an hour. One plate out of four was warm to the touch.
The restaurant wasnt crowded or understaffed. We watched the people around us wait 20 minutes to try to pay their bills.
This business doesn't care about service, nor do they care about their food.
This is my first written complaint ever about a restaurant. After being seated in between a large party and the bar we were totally forgotten about. We didn't speak to a waiter for at least 15 min after seating. There were separate parties of people seated at the bar 10 min after we were seated and they both got their food first. The food I ordered came back wrong, twice. Our appetizer came a few minutes after the meal. Filet mignon was chewy, pasta was okay. And it was lukewarm, at best. Waiter messed up so bad that he offered a free dessert. Then, after insisting, brought us ONE piece of cake.(which we didn't want in the 1st place) In the end the waiter says, "I took care of you folks the best I could." Yeah, right... All this for a birthday dinner. My only terrible dining experience ever in Napa County. And one of the worst ever.
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