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“Lacks distinction”
Review of Trattoria Alberto - CLOSED

Trattoria Alberto
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
A TripAdvisor Member
Severn, MD
11
Reviewed 9 March 2006

Food has Little Italy prices but is not at all distinctive. This restaurant was once fantastic but now seems very tired, from the wait staff to the menu to the small Friday night crowd. While nothing offends, nothing stands out. This is a restaurant in desperate need of a shake-up. Save your money or make the trip to Little Italy until Alberto returns to its former excellence.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (49)
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47 - 49 of 49 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Pasadena, Maryland
15
Reviewed 18 February 2006

My husband and I were very excited to hear that a fine Italian restaurant was near our home. Anticipation was high. We arrived on a Saturday evening (prime time) and were seated promptly.
This is when the problems began. We waited approximately 15 minutes before anyone brought us water, menus or a wine list. No apologies were offered to us. The wine list is unimpressive and the cheapest bottles offered were over $50.
We waited another 15 minutes for our wine. It finally arrived and we ordered our appetizers; smoked salmon with goat cheese (ok but nothing to write home about) and stuffed mushrooms (good but not worth the 10.50 price). These items took half an hour to get to our table. They did put an unimpressive bread basket on the table and the bread was cold (as if it had just been removed from the fridge) and akin to the presliced loaves of italian bread (white bread) you find in the grocery stores.
After our appetizer plates were cleared we waited and waited. We arrived at 7:30 and it was now 9:40 and still no entrees. We noticed a few people who had arrived much later who had recieved their entrees and I started to pout. Our host came over and asked how everything was. I told him it had been an unacceptable wait for our food. He commented that most people don't expect to come here and be in and out in an hour. I don't think he realized how long we had been there. We were not the only people who were also looking at their watches. There was obviously something going on in the kitchen that night.
Our entrees finally arrived at 9:50 along with a complimentary glass of wine. We had both ordered various fish dishes. My husband ordered seabass and I ordered red snapper. These items were served with a tablespoon (I am not making this up) of mashed potatoes and 9 snow peas. Both of our fish dishes were over-cooked and rubbery. The sauce on my husbands had no flavor WHATSOEVER ( i tasted it, bleah) The only saving grace on mine was the sauce which was very tasty. He dipped his fish into my sauce several times but pushed his plate away with most of it still untouched. I ate more of mine but didn't finish it as the texture was way off. Husband said he'd lost his appetite knowing that we paid a small fortune for this meal. The host returned and asked our opinion. We told him the wait was ridiculous and husband said his fish was overcooked and unseasoned. He apologized and said we would not be charged and then looked at the plates and said that yes this was unacceptable and he can't understand why they would send out these plates looking the way they did. Several people had sent plates back before us so again, I felt there was a huge problem in the kitchen that night. We were comped his fish meal ($30) and given free dessert (tiaramisu -which was EXCELLENT) and cappacinos.
The one thing that kept us smiling the whole evening was the piano player. He was very good and even did a trumpet sound on some of the old song with his lips. He took several requests from us which were not in his list and managed them quite nicely. We tipped him well. All in all we will not be returning there anytime soon. It's a shame too. It's so close to home.

5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2005

I had eaten here once before in many years ago and remembered the experience at that time to be well worth the drive and expense.

However, my husband and I just returned for a romantic dinner out in February 2005 and were very disappointed in both the quality of food and the prices charged for such poor quality. Granted, nothing was actually BAD, but to say that the food was average is an overstatement. We shared a pasta (filled with pancetta) dish in white cream sauce ... could have made better at home with ingredients from the local convenience store. And we also ordered their filet minon which, again, was only average.

We will not return, and will, instead, make our drive to Little Italy in Baltimore to get great Italian at a fair price.

4  Thank maybe22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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