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Boston Area Italian

New Year's at Caffe Italiano in Hopkinton (long)

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New Year's at Caffe Italiano in Hopkinton (long)

Sandy | Jan 6, 2003 11:29 AM

Just wanted to give everybody a heads up. If you want to eat dinner at a restaurant where you can stand outside in the freezing cold for forty minutes because they don't pay attention to reservation times, want to have your meal screwed up, have wait staff that speaks such poor English that you actually don't know what they're saying and then end up having the owner/chef swear at you and throw you out -- this is the place to eat.

Caffe Italiano is a small storefront restaurant in Hopkinton Center, Mass. The owner, Maria, is quite volatile to say the last. On New Year's Eve they had two sittings; 6pm and 8pm. We had an 8pm reservation. We were told to come at 8:15, so they'd have time to set our table. Because the place is small, there is nowhere to wait inside. Our party waited outside in the 30 degree weather for forty minutes until they finally had a table for us (so did the majority of other 8pm reservations!) The management (and I use the term loosely) did not want to bother the 6pm seating folks by hurrying them along, so we paid the price. And they didn't bother to bring wine or even coffee out to keep us going.
At 9pm, chilled to the bone, we were seated at a makeshift table. A better table opened up almost immediately but when we asked to be moved we were told another party "might" be coming in. (They never did and the table wasn't even re-set.) The menu was a four course meal, price fix at $65 per head without wine. Our waiter screwed up our orders, forgot to bring the pasta course at all and served our entree at 11pm. When we complained and asked for some compensation for the poor service and long wait, the owner, Maria came out of the kitchen to yell at us that she had been cooking for two days and it was the waiter's fault things were screwed up, not hers (who hired the waiter, one wonders?) and concluded by telling us that she had just two things to say to us: "Happy New Year and get the f!!! out of my restaurant and don't ever come back."

You may think there must be more to the story than that, but believe it or not, there wasn't. We were only looking for a glass of wine or something similar for compensation, instead we were thrown out without even finishing our dinner.

If Maria can't stand the heat, maybe she should'nt be running a restaurant? There are many good restaurants west of Boston. Believe me, this isn't one of them.

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