We wanted a nice place to celebrate my birthday and I wanted to pick one that was listed on TripAdvisor so we picked La Colombina. The restaurant seemed quite popular and the diners were mostly well dressed. To be honest, we felt a little out of place possibly because we were dressed too casually for a place like this.
We were served the best breads we tasted in all the restaurants we ate in Italy. This was gourmet bread with a few varieties. We were not wine drinkers so we only had a bottle of sparkling water and a glass of Prosecco since it was my birthday.
The service was 'appropriate' but far from warm or friendly. One of the service staff even carried an air of snob befitting of a fine dining restaurant. I felt a little tinge of regret after being seated.
The prices were a little on the high side and the size of their food portions were small. Selection is not wide but should work well if you are a foodie and if you enjoy drinking wine because most diners ordered wine. You would expect no less on the quality of food served here but I ended up being disappointed with my pasta.
We were served amuse bouche which was a pleasant surprise. I had the fettuccine al ragout (tomato sauce with meat) while my husband had the Spaghetti di Gragnano (clams). The presentation was what you would expect from this gourmet restaurant listed in a Michelin Guide. This is an edited version of my review from my blog. My full review is at - yourworldtraveller.com/italy/la-colombina-restaurant
My fettuccine was a little bit of a disappointment. It was not as rich in flavour and a bit too dry for my liking. It was also a bit too al dente for my liking but I would not complain since I am in Italy. I had high hopes for it since I have tasted really good ones by Italian chefs with restaurants from where I reside. My husband's dish was very good though and I actually liked his more. Despite the clams being so tiny, the seafood flavour was strong and tasty in his pasta.
We also ordered a main course of Seabass fillet in zucchini. When I started to cut into the fish, I saw a fine strand of hair entangled amidst the layer of zucchini slices. This was quite startling for a fancy restaurant like this one. I felt I had to inform them of this little disaster since a gourmet restaurant should not have hair in their food.
After a few minutes of close examination and removing the layers of zucchini, the restaurant manager finally saw the hair strand and proceeded to apologise. She insisted on a replacement. I have to be honest that the replacement fish turned out smaller than the first one which was a tad disappointing.
Coming from a fine dining restaurant where I was a marketing manager, the usual practice for such incidents was service recovery. A replacement of the dish was a necessity but it would not be sufficient to earn back the satisfaction from a diner.
Maybe my expectations were too high. While we were nice diners and were very discreet in pointing out the problem with our dish, the restaurant did not practise service recovery - not even a complimentary dessert that would not cost much. Even if the fish was tender and beautifully cooked, it was not impressive and we will never forget this dining experience.
As I write this review, I am aware that the restaurant will not like my review and may attempt to write a defensive response (as they have done to previous reviewers). I maintain that my review is as objective as can be, based on my personal experience dining at this restaurant. I give it 3 stars: -1 star for the underwhelming meat sauce pasta that lacked flavour; -1 star for improvement needed in their service recovery protocol and service equality to all kinds of customers, regardless of their spend.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.