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“The only Italians in the place were the servers... if even that” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ristorante Donna Sofia

Ristorante Donna Sofia
Ranked #21 of 271 Restaurants in Sorrento
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Groups, Local cuisine, Kids, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
72 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“The only Italians in the place were the servers... if even that”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2014

This was my only bad meal in Italy, but the restaurant was recommended by a now-maimed Sorrentine friend.
The trip to the restaurant was the highlight of the evening, with the cab driver taking us on a ride that was probably the closest thing to re-experiencing the passage through the birth canal.
I knew once we got inside that we were in trouble... walls plastered with photos of Sophia Loren, the tables pre-set with buckets of grated parmesan, angel hair pasta on the menu, mariachi (that's not a typo) players singing That's Amore, and gratingly loud Brits as well as Japanese customers grouped throughout the restaurant, without a native Italian speaker to be found (aside from perhaps the wait staff).
But we were stuck until the driver returned. Our waiter recommended an appetizer sampler, which suggested to me that, as in most Italian restaurants, it would be a family style platter. It sounded edible, and in fact, was the salvageable part of the meal -- until we saw the bill and that it was a per-plate/per-person charge. The appetizer cost us 90 euro. I ordered a gnocchi alla sorrentina, figuring, well, at least they could get a local dish safely prepared. It was mushy and overcooked, and I swear they used Hunt's canned tomatoes.
The door kept banging, the bathrooms were outside and down the sidewalk (it was raining), and the phone rang all night and was on an amplifier. Add to this the beer drinkers on the other side of the room, who just got louder and louder, and the whole night became a comedy of errors.
Thankfully, it was the one bad meal throughout my stay in Italy; it's too bad it was shared with a group of my friends instead of a pain I could bear privately.
However, this place looks very popular for tourists who like un-Italianized, processed and blanded food, and constant aural stimulus. It appeared that many tables of customers were not in any hurry to leave, whereas I almost cried that in this land of incredible food fare I had to eat (and pay for) a sub-par meal.
My rating of 1 dot is only because I couldn't put in anything lower.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank 2RomeSoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,309 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“More than just a dining experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

I ate at Donna Sofia on the last night of a week's holiday with my Mum and sister. I knew that this was going to be more than just a dining experience when the restaurant's driver arrived at our hotel to pick us up. I sat in the front seat and conversed in pidgin Italian with the driver, whose English was also very limited. When we arrived we were shown to our table by a very friendly waiter who looked after us very well throughout the evening. The restaurant is devoted to Sofia Loren and pictures of her adorn every available inch of wall space. I was delighted to find pasta with lobster on the menu. The only slight disappointment of the evening was that the lobster was sort of minced up rather than being in nice juicy chunks, and overall that course was too salty for my linking. This is only a very slight criticism, as everything else was wonderful, including the perfect panna cotta that I had for dessert. I definitely want to return there, hopefully with my husband next time as this is a lovely romantic location. it would be the perfect place for a long, lazy lunch on a warm summer's day. Yes please!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Aoife74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“This place has a cool atmosphere.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2014

Rows and rows of wines, eclectic music choice and a great backdrop of art and photos of Sophia Loren and other film frames gives this restaurant a bit of an edge on the usual Italian fare. The pasta was really very good - porcini and truffle ravioli, crab and zucchini ravioli followed by a great lemon and almond tart. And a great bottle of recommended wine too.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Rita A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
228 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Unexpected”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2014

8 of us were on a private excursion from a cruise ship. I asked the driver to find a restaurant for us while on the Amalfi Coast. I did say "water view", but the driver's English skills weren't great, so he obviously didn't understand me because there is no water view from Donna Sofia! At first I was a bit put off that he didn't follow directions, but I soon forgot all that because we had a great time at this restaurant. It was like having a meal in the garden of a villa.......very personal, relaxing, and family like atmosphere, and at the same time clearly a professional restaurant......if that makes sense at all! LOL I think we all had something different, and everyone raved about their choice. I had crabmeat ravioli, which was amazing! We had the house wine, which was incredible, and a selection of desserts that we shared. As other reviewers have said the road up to the property is very narrow so we parked in the town and were shuttled up to the restaurant. That was an experience in of itself!

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank MBRECED
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lawrence, Kansas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Worth the trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2014

This restaurant is not that easy to get to as you have to be picked up by their shuttle service since the road is too narrow for most cars, but it is worth it. We booked a tour through smartcruisetours and our guide Paolo recommended this restaurant. We were not disappointed. The menu was flexible, and basically the waiter just recommended the best dishes. The fresh pasta and bread was among the most amazing we had eaten the entire trip! Take the time to taxi up to this hidden restaurant and you will not be disappointed.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Amiras87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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