Friday, October 10, 2008

Little Italy - Germano's, 300 South High Street, Baltimore

So, tonight wife and I visited little Italy for the first time together. We thought we would try Germano's Trattoria on S High Street. We are always excited to try new restaurants.

As you know, we are well travelled. We will try food in any restaurant anywhere. Often, it is 3 hours drive from the nearest town. I am convinced I ate monkey in a small Liberian village. The soda was warm, but the meat was tender, the peas cooked to perfection, and the rice was delicious.

Wife got dressed up today. She put on a very sexy number. Certainly lit up the restaurant.

The hostess at the bar was polite, ish. My accent clearly threw her. But then, I am sure not many Europeans visit Germano’s. She recommended the Chianti Straccali, half price of course. Half price? Well, only if a $9 bottle is worth $36. Which, it isn’t.

We waited, waited a bit longer and then waited more. Eventually, we decided we were hungry and couldn’t wait longer. Ordered the calamari fritti. It was bland, to put it mildly. It came with a tomato based sauce. Actually, I think it was water based. It may have seen a tomato, once. Not that night though.

We ate the entire appetizer. We had waited a long time, and by that time had drank most of the wine.

Taken upstairs, we could not understand why we had been waiting for so long. The place wasn’t packed out, even though the queue outside the door suggested so. In fact, upstairs the place was HALF EMPTY. This was not looking good. Either they were trying to create an ambience in the tired main dinning room. Or the chef wasn’t up to the task.

We sat next to a group of young kids celebrating someone's birthday. They  struggled to sing happy birthday and were given some free profiteroles for the birthday girl. They didn't eat them. This should have rang alarm bells, who leaves free profiteroles?

The d├ęcor is what you would expect for an Italian restaurant trying too hard. Terracotta walls. Old posters. Sponge worked stencils and the obligatory grimy, dirty carpet.

Reviewing the menu (again), we chose the Seafood Risotto (Wife) and Beef Shank (mine). What we didn’t expect was the bagged salad, with plastic tomatoes, ground pepper and what I am convinced was giant brand parmesan. Wife says it wasn’t even that good.

Finally, the food. I ate half, the wife ate less. Bland. Don’t bother going. We have the left over’s in the fridge. We both said, we don’t think we can face them. I wish we had a dog.

The Wife’s Rating
No Stars

My Rating
* But only for the ‘Half Price’ wine

No Stars: Who do you think you are?
* Really? That's it?
** No Grazie.
*** The Mafia eats here.
**** Luigi and Mario own this place.
***** Si, Si, Si, SI!

Germano's Trattoria on Urbanspoon


Cyd Wolf and Germano Fabiani said...

To all readers of this blog, we warn you, "Beware of negative food reviews by 'anonymous' reviewers." They usually have an axe to grind and, rather than to assist the would-be diner, are out to destroy a business.

For 30 years, Germano's has had a steady and growing clientele of local and out of town professionals and families. We are a family owned and operated restaurant and arts destination, hosting local, regional and emerging artists on Thursday in our upstairs dining room. As for Europeans, Germano is from Firenze in Italy, our Italian chef, Paolo Santinami, commanded the kitchen of the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. for eight years, and our staff is multinational and multilinqual. We attract tourists, artists and businessmen from abroad. When Andrea Licata, the renowned Italian conductor is in town to conduct an opera for the Baltimore Opera Company, when he is not at work, you may find him and his family dining at our restaurant.

Our menu contains vegan and vegetarian dishes and we are a food allergy aware facility. In the six months since we opened the Cabaret at Germano's, we are proud to have become a center for artists and patrons of the arts. In fact, this past week Germano's was booming as we hosted a jazz tribute to Ruby Glover, Baltimore's Godmother of Jazz, on Tuesday, a new theatre project, "The Ruzante Project: Open Rehearsals Towards a New Theatre" on Wednesday, and the talented students from the Music Program of the Baltimore School for the Arts in our Thursday cabaret.

We will not address the specific comments made by the anonymous couple because their blog wreaks of "attitude". Their obnoxious description of the clientele -- in fact, we are proud to host a diverse and loyal following-- alerted us and you to their real purpose and identity-- it would seem that not all of our fellow restauranteurs believe in fair competition.

Cyd Wolf and Germano Fabiani
300 S. High Street
Little Italy

The Wife and I said...

Cyd Wolf and Germano Fabiani

Thanks for your comment. We appreciate your comments.

The review was our reflection on the evening based on our experience at your restaurant, of Italian food and the type of restaurants we enjoy eating at.

I am not sure what you may consider our real purpose and identity being. We are not restauranters, we are customers, who when paying a relatively high price for food at a restaurant have high expectations.

You will note our review of Dukem, it is a relatively inexpensive restaurant that provides consistently good quality, low cost food.

Our next review is of Kalis Meli, this too will receive a good review for well priced quality food and environment.

Please take our comments as they were intended. A review of the restaurant and the food. We were disappointed on both counts.

Many thanks, The Wife and I.

The Wife and I said...

Cyd Wolf

We have edited the blog, it wasn't fair to have comments about the clientele. We stand by our assessment of the restaurant and the food.

Many thanks,

The Wife and I.

Anonymous said...

I patronized for the first (and only--never again!) time in November, 2010. There is very little positive that I can say about this place. The food is awful. It is overpriced. You would be better off with Lean Cuisine from the Giant grocery store. The bread was tateless. The pasta was leathery. The seasoning was bland. If you plan to eat at this restaurant--don't! The "service"--or what passes for service, i.e. being ignored by the wait staff--is also subpar. The managers (both husband AND especially the wife) of the restaurant are VERY rude. The original negative review from "My Wife and I" was right on the money!

Stay away from Germano's!

Charlie said...

My family has been going to Germano's for 5-6 years and consider it one of the top two restaurants in Little Italy. The service is unsurpassed, the ambiance perfect and the food superb. Issac is so personable he's become something of a family friend. Although we first met Germano himself a couple of years ago, my wife and I met Cyd for the first time last night. Instantly likable and gracious, she, like her husband, Issac and the whole staff make Germano's THE place for our special event dinners ( like last night's 10 person feast), out-of-town guests, family visits and a night out for my wife and me.

It's important to note that my family is VERY particular about the food we eat. Were Germano's not a five star restaurant in all categories, we would not have returned after the first visit.

Probably most unique about Germano's is that that truly appreciate your patronage, and they show it.