We believe reviewers have the responsibility of being both thorough and honest in their content. Long before we started CT Snapshot, Christina and I frequented websites such as Yelp and Urban Spoon to help us find the best places to eat in Connecticut. The reviewers who posted thorough and honest content proved the most helpful. As bloggers, we have the responsibility to do the same for our readers given our platform and reach. When we visited the Venetian restaurant in Torrington back in October we knew that we owed it to our readers to tell the truth about our experience.
The Venetian Restaurant is the only one of its kind in the state of Connecticut. It was started by Italian immigrants in 1960 and developed a reputation as a renowned restaurant since then. We respect and appreciate the legacy of this restaurant because of our adoration for history and our love for stories about the American Dream. Like the DilLullo family, our grandparents and great grandparents immigrated to this country to contribute something beautiful and meaningful. The original owners of this restaurant undoubtedly made this contribution to the town of Torrington. A place with such a great legacy, however, must be maintained by people who love and care for it throughout the years. Unfortunately, the Venetian restaurant failed to capture our hearts due to poor service and mediocre cuisine.
The Venetian Restaurant
Location: 52 East Main Street, Torrington, CT 06790
Atmosphere: 9/10-When we stepped inside the Venetian Restaurant, we noticed that the owners were making a considerable effort to immerse the customers in the culture of Venice. The paintings on wall were indicative of the city throughout the ages. The fancifully decorated tables showed a willingness to make customers believe that they were receiving a fine dining experience. The paintings on the wall spoke to my own experience in Venice. This particular painting (shown to the left) reminded me of my first gondola ride, minus the men in clothing of a different era. Others paintings reminded me of the beauty of Venice at any time of year.
Price/Selection: 8/10-The menu items are borderline expensive, but this is not out of the ordinary for Italian restaurants. Many Italian restaurants across the state of Connecticut tend to charge upwards of twenty dollars or more per menu item. While the restaurant’s seafood dishes average $20 or more, pasta dishes cost no more than $17. The Venetian Restaurant also offers a theatre menu for people attending a show at the Warner Theatre. This speaks to their awareness of their customers’ needs and makes them a viable option for theatre goers on a tight schedule.
Service: 5/10-The service is what soured our experience. We fully realize that one waiter or waitress is not representative of every staff member at a restaurant. One waiter or waitress, nonetheless, can leave a lasting impression on any customer. Our waitress first showed us an awareness of our needs. We asked for the show menu and she informed us that she would serve our food in a timely fashion. From there on, our waitress berated us with rude comments such as “make up your mind” and “I’m going to bring you a vase of water because you’re drinking a lot” instead of asking us if we wanted one. She also scoffed at us when we thanked her for bringing us our check. We were saddened that we treated our waitress with the utmost respect and she showed us none in return.
Taste: 7.5/10-We wanted to enjoy our fish and pasta cuisines, but they left much to be desired. These dishes were nicely decorated and assembled in a way that speaks to the chef’s culinary talent. We were excited to try our dishes because we read numerous reviews that described them as “savory” and “delicious.” While the dishes offered a palatable texture, they lacked the savory quality we had expected. They satisfied our hunger, but left us wondering about the delicious Venetian cuisine that oh so many customers have spoken of over the years.
In a nutshell-29.5/40-In our experience, The Venetian Restaurant fell short of its established legacy. We are open minded people and would be willing to give it a second chance, but unfortunately the service and food soured our first impression of the restaurant. We hope that if any staff members from the restaurant ever read this review, they will remember to value their customers and honor the restaurant’s great legacy. We encourage you to experience The Venetian Restaurant for yourselves and tell us if it measures up to your expectations of it.