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“Great food, great friendly service”

Michael J's Italian Restaurant
Ranked #6 of 90 Restaurants in Ruidoso
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$14 - US$32
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Michael J's is a collaborative effort between many friends and food lovers from around the globe. We can say that because we appreciate so many sources and learn all the time about what makes a restaurant truly successful. We strive to serve excellent food accompanied by fine wine to go with our offerings. We do NOT serve PIZZA!
Reviewed 23 August 2014 via mobile

My girlfriend and I had a great supper last night. The food was great and the service was great! The owner and service staff were very friendly. We are making this restaurant a regular stop when we are in Ruidoso.
That said, I am going to respond to the millionaire from Denton, Tx. I am from Midland/Odessa and millionaires there are a dime a dozen. Happen to be one myself eventhough you couldn't tell that by the way I dress and talk. Even own property here and come here often. I wonder if you own property here or if you were just visiting?
I happen to agree with the manager's response. You go there for supper and you shouldn't over stay since others are patiently waiting for your table to clear. If you and your party wanted to stay longer, maybe you should have asked to be reseated in the lounge area.
Personally, I am not impressed by your millionaire statement. We are not measured by how fat our bank accounts are but rather by our character! We put on our pants like everybody else... one leg at a time. Being a millionaire does not give you carte blanche to camp out in a busy restaurant. There is a certain etiquite to going out.
The four of you spent $300 including tip? So what? My tab for the two of us was $100 including tip, so I am not impressed with that statement either.
Hope you can get over your gaff and revisit this fine restaurant the next time you come to Ruidoso and enjoy it while you are there. Just keep in mind, you are not the only one who wants to enjoy the fine food and atmosphere there. I am glad that Ruidoso has a place like this as it measures up to places I've been to in the bigger cities. I also realize that these folks have to work for a living.

Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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213 - 217 of 282 reviews

Reviewed 22 August 2014 via mobile

Date night & Enjoyed everything about this resturant. Michael set us hisself & made sure we were happy with table & back 2 make sure everything thing was good. We will defiantly be back. Anyone going be sure to ask for Evelyn she was a delite

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Thank CharleyMarie1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

My husband and I were looking forward to trying the restaurant and arrived without reservations. The host was very frustrated that we had done so although at the time there was no one waiting and tables were open. Another woman who worked there stated we could eat at the bar and went to clear a space. A table outside was prepared and the host seated us by gruffly stating "come on". That is an unacceptable way to speak to customers.
Our table outside was lovely and the ambience was great. Our server was named Evelyn, I believe, and she was friendly and attentive. The food was good but did not live up to some of the other reviews. My husband did not finish his lasagna, a "specialty" plate but perhaps it was due to preference. Unfortunately, despite the enjoyment of dining outside with some nice wine our evening was overshadowed by how we were spoken to. I cannot say that we will return.

1  Thank tantan70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2014

We came here upon reading reviews on Trip Advisor. The reviews do not lie!

Tip: Make a reservation early and verify that the restaurant is open. We attempted to make a reservation late in the evening, but all were filled. They prioritize reservations, so don't delay.

We were greated warmly, and were able to be sat in the bar. I think that the bar tender was less than enthusiastic that we don't drink alcohol, but still served us very well.

The food was fantastic. We started with a shrimp appetizer that was tasty, just small. We were also served warm bread with olive oil and vinegar - quite tasty.

Our entrees included lasagna for my wife - a must for a first-timer - and I tried a special Veal dish. Both were fantastic and flavorful. We received side salads that came with a vinaigrette that was just fantastic.

For dessert, we tried the chocolate tort? that was very rich and creamy.

We think that they deserve all five-stars of the rating. You'll enjoy your visit. The staff is friendly, the outside and inside ambiance is romantic and charming, Michael walks around and greets everyone friendly, and there is beautiful art on the walls to entertain (just outside of our price range).

They even returned my credit card to me after closing when I had forgotten it there and had to return. Excellent service.

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Thank Hsphoser36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Went to this joint on Friday, 8/8 about 5 pm. We had a nice table, good service and the food was good but overpriced for the amount you received. Close to 7 pm, the manager came over and asked us to leave because he needed the table. The restaurant was not full. We said, ok, we'll have some more drinks to add to our $300+ tab. Manager says, sorry, I need "this" table, you'll need to leave. Come to find out, there is group of old ladies from Alto that apparently are regulars and feel that they own that particular table.

The manager is a JERK, there is just no other word to describe him. What he may not know is he ran off a table that included 4 millionaires, and none will ever come back to his establishment.

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8  Thank Steve H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SusannaJade, General Manager at Michael J's Italian Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2014

First, let me explain how the flow in a busy restaurant goes. We take reservations because we have only 12 indoor tables and they are in high demand. We give the guests 1 ½ hour to dine then schedule another group at the table. If the guests stay longer we get backed up and the wait becomes too long. We also have a small lounge and cannot accommodate many people there so the “flow” needs to be steady. Our servers and kitchen are very efficient so that 1 ½ hour is plenty of time – unless the guests decide to linger over their wine and keep talking at their table after they have finished. The night in question here, contrary to what this guest said, was very busy and we couldn’t seat out on our outdoor patio because of rain. This reviewer says they got there at 5 pm and by 7 pm they were asked to leave. That is two hours – we were trying to be patient but when our lounge is full and we can’t seat our other guests we have to do something. Michael went to this table and asked if they enjoyed everything, they said yes, and then he said he would need the table soon. Yes, that table. They were 5 people, the next group scheduled to eat was a group of 5 also – makes sense to “turn” that table. We had taken another reservation at 6:45 giving this group an extra 15 min to enjoy, but the other group – old ladies as he puts them, showed up a bit early and our lounge was already full. The restaurant biz is extremely demanding, we are constantly under pressure to keep the “flow,” provide consistently great food and service which most of our guests agree we achieve.

These people have no idea what it is like to work hard for a living it seems. This man tells us they are millionaires and obviously expect to get what they want wherever they go – including hogging a table when others are waiting. I handle the money and know they spent $250 and left a $50 tip to the server – that is not a $300+ tab. These people were in their own world and not at all concerned that our restaurant was packed and they were taking up space on the best table in the house. They should have apologized to us for being so selfish – and they should definitely apologize to the group of “old ladies” for whom they show nothing but distain. Frankly, that isn’t true either. We didn’t know the next group personally – we were simply allowing a reservation to have their table in a timely fashion. No successful restaurant with only 12 tables can afford to have “campers” at tables on a busy night.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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