This weekend my parents and I headed downtown Stillwater for a quick dinner. We had originally wanted to eat at Smalley’s Pirate Bar (one of my faves) but when I tried to call ahead the hostess kept hanging up on me. When we finally made it into town I tried putting our name in for Smalley’s and was informed that it would be about an hour and a half wait for the first available table. Dad was in a rush to get back home for the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight so we headed across the street to Luna Rossa. I had eaten there for prom when I was in highschool and remembered it being a fairly nice place and due to social media I knew they had upgraded by expanding and even adding wine cave tours.
We were very lucky there was no wait. We requested to eat out on their patio if available since it was such a beautiful evening. After the hostesses discussed the best spot for us to sit with each other, completely ignoring us for a few minutes, one of the hostesses grabbed some menus and walked off without so much as a follow me please. After a quick pause we realized we were supposed to follow and off we went. I was a little shocked by our seating arrangement. After squeezing through the maze of chairs we came to a dirty patio table shoved in with their garden supplies and bag of dirt in a little muddy runoff area of their side patio. The hostess set our menus down and walked away without a word. A few minutes later another hostess came over to tell us our server would be with us soon.
Ten minutes later our server comes to our table to take our drink order. She didn’t introduce herself and definitely was not one for small talk, there was no welcome greeting or inquiry into our evening. We tell her we are looking to order a bottle of a red wine for the table to which she replies “which kind?”. After flipping through our menus frantically we ask where their wine selection is listed. “Oh, would you like a drink menu?” she responds. After confirming that a drink menu would be great we wait another eightish minutes for her to return. My dad chooses a bottle and some calamari for the table. We wait for about five minutes when my dad decides to excuse himself and run to the bathroom while we wait. When he returns he informs us that the wine we ordered wasn’t available so he had ordered something else. Five minutes later our server comes back and informs us that our second wine choice isn’t available either. We decide to send her back to find out what is similar and in stock and request that wine. We finally get our wine, which was wonderful, but still no sight of our calamari. We notice that a few tables around us are struggling as well. A salad was forgotten at one table. Someone had requested their side dish a few times and was still waiting.
A bread basket and our calamari are delivered and was absolutely delicious, I loved the two different sauces that came with it. I was starting to feel a little more positive after trying some food. Our waitress returned to take our order and mentioned that they did have one special a Lobster Ravioli in a Seafood Cream Sauce with Shrimp and Scallops. Dad was immediately sold on the special, my mom and I decided to split the Chicken Piccata (one of my all time favorites). Mom and I also order a side salad, our waitress asks what type of dressing we would like so I ask about their house pink dressing. She tells me it is made with mayo and ketchup (weird combo for a salad dressing) but isn’t an option for the side salads. I list off a few request and am informed they don’t carry any of my dressing choices. I eventually ask what my choices are. Basically I can get ranch, blue cheese, french or their tomato vinaigrette. We both order the tomato vinaigrette. Then our waitress informs us we have to choose a baked potato or side pasta for our chicken picatta. We ask for the pasta and she walks away without another word. Our server returns with our salads, drops them off and is off again. I am presented with a very basic salad with a thick slice of tomato, one cucumber slice and a big strip of red bell pepper. The tomato vinaigrette was pretty good and inspired me to try and make my own at home the next day.
Our plates are cleared away and new silverware is dropped on our dirty table. Our food is soon delivered. Dad’s looks okay, no real presentation, just a few pieces of ravioli in a gray sauce with some shrimp floating in it. The chicken picatta is delivered and we are informed that there is a plate stacked beneath it for us to split up our dinner, which I found really disappointing. After creating a mess splitting up our meal we tried a few bites. I caught Mom’s eye and realized she wasn’t enjoying her plate any more than I was. We each had a dry chicken breast that had been drowned in a thick overly lemony cream sauce with giant pieces of garlic and not a single caper. I tried them veggies that came on our plate which consisted of some nice green beans and some under cooked carrot sticks which gave our 22$ chicken a real tacky feel. My dad really loved his dinner, he kept offering us bites but it smelt very fishy to me and I wasn’t sure I was brave enough to try it. The pasta side that came with our chicken picatta was little more than some boiled noodles with what tasted like jar sauce dumped on top. Each meal was also presented with a health sprinkling of parsley what I imagine was an attempt to make things look fancy.
We turned down the half hearted offer for dessert and asked for our bill. Meanwhile the table next to us were waving their arms trying to attract any staff member. When one finally approached their table they asked when they could expect their drinks they ordered 30 minutes prior and they were hoping to place an order for food as well if their server could return. It seemed everyone was having trouble with their dining experience. It was very disappointing for around 25$ a plate our experience was so terrible. I will never ever go back to Luna Rossa after that experience and would warn anyone against going there.
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