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“Intentionally Awful...”

Carmelo's Italian Restaurant
Ranked #31 of 162 Restaurants in Wausau
Price range: US$7 - US$28
Cuisines: Italian, American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, View, Bar Scene
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: The Oliva family and dedicated staff welcome you to Carmelo's. Established in October of 1986; three generations strive to provide a family atmosphere and fine dining experience. Enjoy!
50onthego
Level Contributor
141 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
“Intentionally Awful...”
Reviewed 10 March 2014

I ordered the 6 oz. Filet. Shape wise, it looked like a blue crab with stubby tentacles and chewing it was like an Olympic event...hard fought. My husband ordered the "Clam Linguine 'a la swimming' in water." The "canned" clams diced as they were over the top of the pasta looked like chopped mushrooms atop a salad. We sent back the "blue crab filet" and received in turn a low grade, tough sirloin (hey at least it was r-o-u-n-d). Our server argued that it was filet mignon and not sirloin, but I'm a 57 year old steak lover...you can't pull that cow over my eyes. As to the Clam Linguini 'a la swimming in water', we were told that "everyone has their own tastes." The shrimp scampi I added to my steak was served over a full cup-load bed of onions...all tiny little four of them. Nasty.

In the end, we refused to pay for both meals, and to be honest, the restaurant was ultimately accommodating. They charged us only for our bar tab. However, since we had eaten our salad (where's the lettuce????) and soup, we felt badly and added $20.00 to the tab. $5.00 for the salad (where's the lettuce???), $5.00 for the soup, $5.00 for the 4 tiny shrimp, and $5.00 for the garlic bread that came with the meal (we ate 3 pieces), and $12.00 for the tip based on what the meal we couldn't eat would have cost us. That's us. We feel terrible not paying even when we don't eat.

In the end, $53.00 later, we're back at our hotel....and hungry. And they did that intentionally. Who serves a crappy looking, fake filet mignon like that? Who serves linguini in water like that and with CANNED clams? They did it on purpose. They don't care.

Don't go.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank 50onthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucas O, Public Relations Manager at Carmelo's Italian Restaurant, responded to this review, 12 March 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review. We greatly appreciate all feedback, good or bad. I'm very sorry that we didn't meet your expectations.

I take your comments very seriously and would very much like to follow up with you about your experience. I have forwarded my email address to you. I look forward to hearing from you. This is not how we do business and I would like to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    21
    16
    5
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
72 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Friendly waitress and beautiful view of the ski hill, ok food”
Reviewed 22 January 2014

The reader should know that I am plagued with being a foodie and have high expectations when I dine out. The menu was interesting but the quality of the food was at best mediocre. Our waitress could not have been more friendly and our view of the ski hill was very pretty. However the food...yawn. Four of my party of 5 ordered the special, a tenderloin with prawns. No seasoning, no flavor. I asked the waitress for her recommendation and she pointed me towards a stuffed cannelloni. It was suppose to have various cheeses, italian sausage and spinach. I tasted a simple cheese with lots of spinach. The pasta was very tender and the red sauce was good. Next time we visit my father in law I will push to have my choice in restaurants!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank cutetraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucas O, Public Relations Manager at Carmelo's Italian Restaurant, responded to this review, 12 March 2014
Thank you for writing a review. We appreciate the feedback. I'm sorry our food didn't meet your expectations. I'm glad you enjoyed the view and received good service. We're always trying to improve and your comments go a long way in helping us do that.

I hope you'll give us another try when your in town again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Must go to Carmelo's!”
Reviewed 6 January 2014

My husband and I along with our kids (young adults) went to Carmelo's after skiing at Granite Peak on January 5th. Food was delicious, service was great, and staff were friendly. Great Italian Restaurant to eat at!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Caroline W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucas O, Public Relations Manager at Carmelo's Italian Restaurant, responded to this review, 24 January 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review. We are glad to hear you and your family enjoyed our restaurant. We look forward to seeing you the next time you are in the area!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mequon, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
28 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Old School Family Italian”
Reviewed 22 October 2013

Great must stop restaurant on your trip through Central Wisconsin. This Italian Restaurant is still family owned by the subsequent generations. All the family members work here and treats you like family. Great traditional recipes from handed down family recipes. And, dont forget the muddled old fashioneds.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Steve R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucas O, Public Relations Manager at Carmelo's Italian Restaurant, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Thank you so much for the great review. We look forward to seeing you on your next trip through Central Wisconsin!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
37 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“This is not a Great Italian Restaurant”
Reviewed 23 September 2013

A group of us (some from out of town, all getting together the day before a family wedding), agreed to have dinner at the well-known Carmelo's in Wausau. It's well known to me now as well, and not somewhere I would ever agree to eat again. As has been indicated, it's a busy place on a Friday night. And to be fair, locals indicated they have a great fish fry...but never offer any feedback on the Italian food. And when I checked, Carmelo's is an Italian restaurant, so I'd expect any judgment to be on their Italian specialties, not a Friday fish fry. In any case, no one at our table, a group of 8, no one had the fish fry. My brother in law had the special tenderloin, but indicated with a sawing motion the steak was anything but tender. Both my sister in laws had the shrimp and claimed to enjoy it. The other half and I both had the spaghetti carbanara. Prior to the meal, which was a long wait...the place was wholly understaffed for their busy Friday night...our very friendly waitress (the only high point of this meal), kept bringing us basket after basket of Carmelo's famous garlic bread. Starving after a long drive and no lunch, these greasy carbs were unwelcome...and I'd say the famous bread is nothing more than Roundy's so-called Italian loaf smeared with garlic powder mixed with margarine. The feeble salad that came had the usual iceberg/romaine mix, with a couple hunks of grocery store quality cucumbers and pallid tomatoes. Then came the carbanara. It was not good. If the egg and pasta water had ever been tossed with the pasta and parmesan to form a homogeneous mixture ever occurred, it wasn't with this dish. The bacon was tasteless, the parm wasn't melted, and the dish was in word lousy. I'd rate the place only one star, however the waitress did her best in what was clearly a very mis-managed place than has inexplicably become a local favorite. I'm guessing that's because there is a general lack of competition in the area, which is unfortunate.I was told by family members later in the weekend that the fish fry and the aforementioned tenderloin are great. I suggested that Italian restaurants should be specializing in regional delicacies, not fish-fries and steak. I don't plan on sticking with anything, because we have no intention of going back.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Fussytrvler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucas O, Public Relations Manager at Carmelo's Italian Restaurant, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I'm very sorry we didn't meet your expectations. We work hard to provide the best dining experience possible. I'm glad your server was helpful and attentive. I hope you'll give us another try when you're in the area.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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