Osteria--Don't Bother!. After reading several reviews from diners that related their experiences with lost or un-honored reservations at Osteria, I boldlyor perhaps foolishlywent ahead and called to reserve a table for a Saturday evening. The man who answered the phone was brusque and my suspicion was that he never even bothered to write down the reservation. This was substantiated when I called to confirm and was told that no reservations under my name existed. The man who answered didnt offer to do a thing about replacing our lost reservation, but asked that we come to the restaurant and basically hang around until a table comes up. There seems to be a pattern with this restaurant: the people they dont knowi.e. arent important to themget bumped and are basically used to fill-in the gaps by waiting around for an empty table for 40 or 60 minutes. In short: stay away from this place.
Great food, gracious service. We love this restaurant, and apparently many others do as well since Osteria has been voted the best Italian Restaurant in Palo Alto 5 years in row. The food is exceptional and the wait staff and hostess go out of their way to accommodate extra people and special requests. A few months ago we had 2 additional people show up for a table of 6 reservation. The hostess made it work. You will need a reservation even during the week. And any amount of wait is truly worth it.
Some tips for eating at Osteria. I eat there as often as I can, but I also agree that service can definitely be better. Besides the hostess, there's also another grumpy waiter. The other thing that I have trouble with is the crowded seating - not very comfy. My recommendation, as someone who has had plenty of experiences with the place, is to make a reservation a day in advance, and also pick an earlier time. If you wait till the peak of the dinner hour you are going to be left waiting. Other than that, I still think it's one of the best Italian places around here - great food, good portions, great prices.
beware of the HOSTESS!. I have been coming here for years and had recommended it to my boyfriend's mom when she visited from Canada. I was so embarrassed with the way we were treated. Not only was she rude when we first checked in, but she was rude when she sat us and finally at the end of the evening to ask for our payment. She is clearly an unhappy person and almost ruined the great evening I was having. Thankfully for the company I was with and the much smarter waiter who listened and apologized for her actions saved it from its demise. I love the food and feel of Osteria, but have to say that I'm still a little hesitant to go back.
"friends of rest" seated before reserv..
I had a first date there with reservations. We waited 45 minutes...I kid you not before they seated us. And, and, I add, that was after we asked angrily about it. They didn't apologize. I asked around and found out that they seat people they know over reservations. My recommendation to the restaurant...quit taking reservations.
Oh and the food was just average.
While trendy restaurants come and go in downtown Palo Alto, this lovely place remains a favorite corner trattoria..
amazing food!. Me and some friends ate at the Osteria. We shared a few amazing dishes Caroaccio, scampi, ling vongle', saltimboca and Calmari steak each dish was amazing! now I understand why this restaurant is very popular.
TERRIBLE SERVICE---LEFT IN STEAM OF ANGER. My husband and I wanted a romantic evening out. But Osteria has just absolutely DESTROYED it. We made a reservation, which didn't mean anything. We waited over 30 minutes while other people who came in after us got seated (I could see that people with names written down after us for the same number of seats got seated first). Then the best part:when I asked the OWNER about other people cutting in, he told me that IF I WERE YOU, I WOULDN'T BE SAYING THAT. Come on, even Gary Danko with better food doesn't dare to have an attitude like that!
great place. osteria is easily my favorite italian place in palo alto. the pasta is superb and is way better priced than all the surrounding italian restaurants (beppo's, il fornaio, pasta?, evil cheesecake...). a reservation is probably a good idea, but only needs to be made a couple of hours in advance. the carpaccio is wonderful.
Looong wait!!!. TERRIBLE SERVICE! Made the mistake of going on a Sat night and despite the fact we had made reservations (for a party of 4) a week in advance, we waited 45 minutes while the owner & hostess sat 4-5 groups ahead of us for no good reason. We complained. No sincere apologies for the wait. Seems the only way to get decent service is to know the owner or staff. When we had gone on a weeknight we enjoyed the food but the weekends are a nightmare. Why make reservations when they mean nothing?
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