We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Don't waste your time (and money)

Which Rome hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Amelia Island...
Level Contributor
867 posts
65 reviews
Save Topic
Don't waste your time (and money)

I was looking forward to dining at Orso 80 when planning our visit to Rome this past week. I had heard such good things about it, especially the antipasti. We dined here two nights in a row, just to see if the first experience was just a fluke. It was not!

We were seated immediately then completely ignored by the two waiters working the area. We had to ask for menus, twice. We had to ask for water, then wine, both times. Other patrons came in after us and received menus, wine and water quickly. After flagging down one of the waiters, we ordered the house red wine and a split antipasti. That seemed to irritate him for some reason. Apparently each diner is supposed to order their own appetizer (€15 each) and also must select wines from their wine list which is pricey. You must understand that the appetizer consists of 11 separate dishes, brought to the table in a constant stream of food. Eggplant fixed 2 separate ways, celery with cheese, meatballs, prociutto with mellon and mozzarella, white beans in tomato broth, sliced fresh fennel, slices of quiche, and four more I cannot remember. This is food overload, and it is just the appetizer. Having seen such a gastronomic onslaught, we thought splitting one was reasonable. Not so. We continued to be ignored.

The waiter forgot our meal order and asked us again, twice! Getting the check was another exercise in arm-waving. It was very obvious that we had been classified as some sort of “second class” patron. While the food is quite good, the humiliation overrides any desire to return, nor recommend this place. In fact, there is a charming little restaurant just around the corner from Orso 80 (toward Piazza Navona) called the Old Bear where the people actually care about their customers and the food is honestly even better (and less expensive as well). In addition, there are three better choices within 100 yards of Orso 80. Save you money, time and retain some dignity by avoiding Orso 80.

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
30,793 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Don't waste your time (and money)

Sorry you had such a bad experience but there are a few things to keep in mind.

Unlike here, they don't automatically bring you water. You must order it and specify with or without gas. Also, they will never bring you the check unless you ask for it. It is like telling someone in your home it's time to leave because dinner is over.

I can't explain why the waiters were not more attentive or why your waiter forgot your order. Is it possible you went in with very high expectations and a lack of understanding for the customs and were disappointed from the start by what you perceived to be disrespect?

Again, I'm sorry you had a bad time there but hope the rest of your trip was wonderful.

Donna

Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
1,124 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Don't waste your time (and money)

Unfortunately that place is a bit too touristy and popular, that may explain their behavior.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
38,687 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Don't waste your time (and money)

It could also be that they aren't happy when people only order one 15 euros dish for two people. I've seen some grumpy servers not just there but here at home when people order just an appetizer to share. Some servers hide their disappointment better than others. Or, you could have gotten the server on a bad day. It happens everywhere.

Amelia Island...
Level Contributor
867 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Don't waste your time (and money)

dbabe: we spent 11 days in Sorrento and Positano just prior to our Rome visit and we always were asked about water and wine almost immediately upon being seated. I see that I was not clear about asking for the check. After having asked for it initially, we waited a good 15 minutes to acutally get it. That was what all the "arm-waving" comment was about. I see no justification for such rude behavior by a restaurant and will not give them the benefit of the doubt for two successive visits that resulted in the same poor level of service. All the other restaurants we visited in Rome were head and shoulders above this one.

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
30,793 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Don't waste your time (and money)

Again, sorry you had such a bad experience.

Donna

St Paul, MN
Level Contributor
20,027 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Don't waste your time (and money)

"It could also be that they aren't happy when people only order one 15 euros dish for two people. I've seen some grumpy servers not just there but here at home when people order just an appetizer to share"hgggg

my daughter and I frequently split the antipasto or the meat/fish course when we have eaten in Rome, Florence, or Capri and there have been no problems with waiter after doing so, but in each case the split dish was not the only thing that each of us ordered.

At places where there was a Antipasto bar (sounds like the overload you are describing only brought to the table) frequently I would eat the antipasto bar and bread for lunch, but in those cases I did not split it with my daughter. She only like warm food and would order something else.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
38,687 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Don't waste your time (and money)

I was only saying that could possibly be one of the possible reasons - not that I knew it was the reason. I know many servers treat customers well regardless of what they order - however, I also know of some who resent it when there is such an order. It's not the way it should be, but it does happen.

rome
Level Contributor
2,074 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Don't waste your time (and money)

There is no excuse for being rude but from all what I have ever heard about Orso, it is the kind of place where you go for the antipasti spread. Though it is perfectly acceptable to share an antipasti plate before going on to other things in most places, this place seems to be living off of this concept (a fix price for the stream of antipasti coming) and the calculations behind it. And you sharing it *is* kinda out of concept, it is like sharing an all you can eat buffet or taking a doggy bag from an all you can eat buffet.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1,866 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Don't waste your time (and money)

I agree with wine gal, but of course that is no excuse for the rude treatment.

Having been a waitress in NYC, I would always get annoyed if people ordered very little, but I was never rude. Of course In NYC , unlike Rome, we work for tips, so the less you order the smaller the tip and if you are rude you get no tip. I would always try to get these customers out as quickly as possible, nicely of course :-)

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
38,687 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Don't waste your time (and money)

While servers in the US work for tips so likely have a different type of interest in the orders taken; I'm betting that just like all businesses, restaurants in Italy want a lucrative business and if a lot of people split appetizers, surely some of those servers would not have a job -

Again - there is no excuse for rudeness but I can see that they might think they have a reason to be less than cordial.