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Restaurants & Bars

Chicago Area

Tufano's disappointment

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Tufano's disappointment

Bolivar | Aug 17, 2003 10:22 PM

I've been meaning to stop by Tufano's Vernon Park Tap for a long time and today, my wife and I finally got there for an early dinner. After having heard so many promising things over the years, we were truly disappointed.

While our server was seemingly bored and completely devoid of charm and friendliness, the first real sign of trouble was the poor quality of the tomatoes in the caprese salad (called Tomato and Mozzarella Salad on the menu). I don't know where you could find such colorless, flavorless, stiff things this time of year even if you were searching for them. An overly liberal dousing of olive oil in addition to the balsamic resulted in a completely separated pool of liquid in the dish. The mozzarella was not stellar but it sure was a stand-out on that plate.

I went with the signature lemon chicken and was surprised to be given a leg, a couple of wings, and a couple of thighs swimming in oil and covered with home fries, some of which were soggy with oil and some of which were so overdone as to be crunchy throughout. While most of the chicken was moist and flavorful, why wasn't a breast included?

My wife opted for a simple spaghetti aglia e olio. What she received was a surprisingly small plate of overcooked pasta also swimming in oil. This place's inability to execute a passable rendition of such an easy classic was truly unexpected.

All of the dishes were unceremoniously dumped in front of us without a word. We were never asked how we were doing or if everything was okay. We had to pointedly flag the waitress down to secure a second drink and waited far too long for the dishes to be cleared and the check to be presented.

The outdoor patio is a nice spot with a lot of greenery and a fountain nearby. When we were first seated, I really thought we were in for a treat. Ah, well. Live and learn.

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