One place I shall never be going back to is L'Officina, the Italian restaurant at Kildare's designer outlet village. I went there at the beginning of this week with my boyfriend's mother and brother, just to check the place out. I'm not even sure why I went, because I'm not into designer anything really, but it was something interesting to do.
I was treated pretty badly at this restaurant. It's the only place to eat there really, so we went in as we were starving and I hadn't eaten anything since the previous night, I thought they must be able to rustle something up for me. I don't think I've ever come across anywhere that hasn't been able to accommodate me in some form or manner - even the local pub once whipped me up one of the nicest vegan salads I've ever had, and I've even had to go to a steakhouse before and been given a lovely meal.
Not this place. I told the waitress I did not eat meat or dairy and asked if I could have a panini with roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes and aubergines. The waitress looked at me in disgust, as if I was insane and said she'd have to check with the chef. She promptly came back and just said "NO". Just like that, in the tone of voice that those capital letters imply. How rude for such a simple request. It's not as if it was a tall order, as these were ingredients used in all the other paninis on the menu. And what would they do if someone lactose intolerant came to eat there? I didn't want to just ask for one of the vegetarian paninis "without the cheese" because when I've done that in other places before they've just taken the cheese out and do not double up on the other ingredients - and I'd just be left with a weird, empty panini with only two ingredients.
So I had to have the minestrone soup. It was very nice, like a fresh vegetable broth, but that's not really the point, I really wanted something much more filling. I am also beginning to wonder if the paninis were ready-made, and not fresh, which is possibly why they couldn't add/remove ingredients. They did not look like very decent paninis when my boyfriend's family received theirs.
To top it all off, they couldn't even deliver my drink to the right table. Another waitress was wondering around with my drink offering to people on other tables, and when I tried to help when she passed by, by saying "excuse me but I think it might be for me?" she gave me a scornful look and said "no it's not for you"... then came back approximately 20 seconds later and said that I was right.
All in all, a very displeasing visit. Thank god I never plan to return.