Friday, November 25, 2011

Never To Return...

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.


  1. I would never imagine that a Italian restaurant could not have vegan options. At least one pasta should be and also you should be able to get pizza... And, of course, nothing justifies the staff being rude like that. Disgusting.

  2. WTF?! How ridiculous that you were treated like that. I would be calling the manager about it. Do these people not want to make tips at all? Nothing justifies the way they treated you.

  3. Yes I've been thinking about writing to complain. I didn't make a fuss at the time because I was not paying for the meal, it was a treat from my boyfriend's mother. If it was me paying, I'd either just get up and leave in disgust or I'd ask to speak to the manager.

    I think there was probably a vegan pasta on the menu, but I really think vegan pasta dishes in Italian restaurants are soooo boring and a real rip off - it's always a pretty bland tomatoey sauce over white pasta, and I'm not paying €14 for that!! I could make that at home for less than €3!

    Also doubt they'd make me a pizza without cheese either, seeing as they couldn't even do up a panini!

  4. What bothered me most is just the way she came over and said "NO." Not like "I'm really sorry but the chef said it's not possible" or "I'm sorry but it's too busy to be taking requests at the moment". Really irritating!!

  5. I've had a similar thing happen with a panini (turned out they were ready made) and in the same place on another occasion they wouldn't do me a veggie breakfast and leave the egg of cos the chef didn't do alterations! I wrote a letter of complaint in the end and I did get an apology and a voucher but I was so put off by the staff's attitude that I never went back

  6. Yes even if they sent me a voucher I don't think I'd go back!