Restaurants & Bars


quite terrible experience at Bitone in Bologna (long)


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quite terrible experience at Bitone in Bologna (long)

debbie | Nov 28, 2005 01:48 PM

I'm sad to report, that after much research for a very anticipated food weekend in Bologna, we had an awful experience at Bitone. The restaurant was beautiful. while the tables for four were quite well spaced, the two tops were directly on top of each other. It wasn't too much of a problem since we were one of the first ones in the restaurant, but they did try to seat another couple right next to us, and the couple asked to be moved. We were immediately given menus with an english translation, although none were requested. The menu listed both specialties of the region and listed a special seasonal chef's menu. We placed our order and received our appetizers. While we were dining on our very pedestrian appetizers, we heard our very own waiter reciting a very lengthy list of specials to a table nearby. We summoned him and asked if there were specials not on the menu. He said that what we had ordered were specialties of the region. I said I understood but that I had heard him reciting specials to another table. He insisted what we had ordered was very good, and pretended not to understand about any other specials. I mentioned that I had specifically heard him mention a gnocci special and he begrudgingly agreed that it existed. We went through this charade with a few other specials I had overheard and it became clear he would not apologize for not offering the specials, nor would he be offering them to us. At the end of the meal (again, very pedestrian), we talked to the chef who had been roaming the dining room and mentioned that we had been very disappointed not to have been offered the specials for the evening. He said that when people are from the area, he offers them specials, but when he has foreign visitors, he does not. (It just so happens I live in germany and travel to italy all the time). So, in essence, they decide what you should eat. The specials, which I saw on our neighbors plates, looked declicious, but alas, I will never find out because I will never go there again. While I have learnt that if you receive an english menu in Europe, there are likely things on the native menu that have not been translated to english, I have never heard customers verbally offered a long list of specials that was not offered to every single customer in the restaurant.

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