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Chicago Area

Colletti's on Central: Chef Boyardee Runs The Kitchen

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Restaurants & Bars

Colletti's on Central: Chef Boyardee Runs The Kitchen

Brent Brotine | Dec 7, 2003 02:38 PM

This is the big pink dining/banquet place at Central and Elston; My taste-challenged elderly in-laws took the whole family here Thanksgiving weekend, because my mother-in-law had "heard it was good" from her senior fitness center buddies. Absolutely awful!

The experience began by entering a smoke-filled lobby that's way too close to the bar; the no-smoking room is in the back, and half of us chose to wait outside until our table was ready rather than endure the noxious waiting area. Food is processed beyond any discernible flavor, and most everything is straight out of a can. Dinners begin with OK soups (more about those later), but watery iceberg salad topped with garlic-free garlic dressing. Linguini with red clam sauce was overcooked; clam pieces were right from the tin. Eggplant parmigiana was 95% pasta, 5% eggplant (paper-thin potato-peeler slices my wife had to hunt for). The "asparagus & mushroom ravioli" special turned out to be to be ordinary cheese ravioli with a couple of asparagus stalks and sliced mushrooms on the side of the plate -- not the filled ravioli we were expecting.

It was topped off by argumentative service. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law had asked if they could substitute onion soup (3.75 on the menu) for the included-with-dinner minestrone (3.25 ordered a la carte); the waiter told us it would be 50 cents extra per the menu. Fine. The bill came, and we were charged 1.75 extra for each onion soup. It took literally 15 minutes of high-level manager consultation to get the charge reduced to what the waiter quoted (in this kind of situation I'd prefer to pay the bill, reduce the tip by the questioned amount and scoot, but my father-in-law likes to complain...)

The good news is, I haven't found any reference to Colletti's on Chowhound, so perhaps no one has had the pleasure of dining here yet. May it stay that way.

>>Brent

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