Tonight we had a family celebration at Romano’s Macaroni Grill at Town Center in Virginia Beach. As usual we went early since we had the boy, and you know how boys under two can be!
We were promptly met at the door and taken to our table. Despite the restaurant being very empty, we were seated near the entrance. Not a good place. The host was adequate, but nothing to remember except for being unremarkable.
Our waitress was at our table right away. She was friendly and knowledgeable, but not refined. She plated the oil, the first one on the table was empty, and cracked pepper for the bread yet to be delivered and we ordered sodas and a juice for the boy. When the waitress returned she offered to remove the wine glasses, but only took two of the four on the table and didn’t take the extra bread plates and flatware.
Right now they are promoting “Mediterranean Olives”. Don’t let that fool you. They’re just trying to tack on another $3.99 to your bill. If you like olives, get them, otherwise save your pennies. You’re not getting a discount on them.
Something that struck me as odd, or cheap, was the white butcher paper over the tables. Here we are with cloth napkins and table covering with wine glasses and oil bottles (some empty) at the ready, and a wait staff with bow ties and a nice wine list, yet we’re being asked to eat over paper. Cheap, cheap, cheap. The only positive with the paper, the boy made some nice artwork out of it. I just don’t think the older couple two booths away appreciated the paper and crayons on their table as much.
Oh yeah, if you’ve read this far you must want to know about the food. The bread came first and was warm and soft. It had some seasoning on it, but nothing special.
I got a side salad with Italian dressing. Hey! We’re at an Italian restaurant afterall. The salad was larger than expected and the Italian dressing was pretty darn good. It had a mild little kick to it. Yep, it pleased me.
The Shrimp & Artichoke Dip came next. The best thing I can say about this dish was its lack of offensiveness. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it was just there. The Parmesan bread crisps were just that, crisp. Sort of like eating an old crouton with over-cooked parm on board.
For dinner the boy had Grilled Chicken and Pasta. This was a great looking dish, just not for a two-year old. I think the poor boy would starve to death if he had to eat spaghetti only. He just couldn’t get those strings in his mouth with any consistency. It did bring a joy to watch, though. He wasn’t having any of the chicken, and the “trees’, brocoli, just weren’t going to be consumed. Oh well, at least mom tried to get him something healthy.
Speaking the wife, she got the Insalata Blu. Basically a pretty large salad with vinaigrette and some bleu cheese grated on the top. The wife liked it, but couldn’t finish it.
I ordered the Spaghetti and Meatballs and next to that super-duper Italian dressing, this was the best part of the meal once I got to eat it. I’d asked for another fork and the waitress forgot, so I had to get it myself. The spaghetti sauce was way too watery and the pasta was mushy, but the meatballs were great. Like the mack-daddy Italian dressing, the meatballs had a little kick to them. I don’t know what it was, but it was there and it was good. Just too bad the other items on the plate failed. The portion was good, but after seeing the other large items I’d expected something bigger. A bit of a let down.
Our boy was getting fussy, so I actually held him while eating. It’s good for me I could do it with one hand!
When requested, the waitress got our check promptly and everything was in order.
I know this sounds pretty negative, but it really wasn’t that bad of a meal. I just expect a lot, or as my wife says, I’m an ass. Go figure. We’ll go back and give it another run.