I recall a time several years ago when East Side
Mario's closed down, and Vinny Testa's took its
place. I fondly remember my enthusiasm for such a
good restaurant opening close to me - I had
previously dined at Vinny Testa's in Lexington and
Natick, and very much enjoyed myself at both
locations. As soon as Vinny Testa's Shrewsbury
had opened, myself and some friends tried to go,
but couldn't even get in the doors for a month as
patrons packed the walls of the establishment and
drove the wait time up to 1.5 hours plus. The
tale is much different today, sadly.
I went on 9/4/2002 with a large party of 12 for a
birthday dinner celebration. I had expected that
we would have to wait for some time to get
seated... but in fact, we were sat down as soon as
we walked in the door. This amazed me - I had not
been to the restaurant in several months, as it
had gone down a bit in quality from when it first
opened, so was not sure what to expect. It's surely
not a good sign when people aren't going in the
numbers they used to.
Roasted garlic is one of the few things they get
right here - surely the meal would have been a
total disaster if not for the tasty breads and
mushy garlic and oil.
I had had good luck in the past with the combo
dinner, but the dishes, once delivered to me, were
flavorless overall - the sausage and peppers I had
on the side was bland, and the eggplant rolotini,
fried portobella and ravioli all tasted the same.
The entire meal was cold, to boot.
Service was very sub-par, considering that the
restaurant was barely a third full. Also, a wrong
meal was delivered (to the birthday boy!) even
after the patron specifically told the waiter what
he wanted - twice. It isn't that hard to distinguish
veal marsala from chicken marsala.
Prices are average for the chain, but I surely
didn't feel like I was getting my money's worth,
even with the "large amounts" of food. I just
decided to throw out my leftovers rather than
subject myself to their blandness again.