Horrible Service at Iorio

Usually I prefer to talk about stuff that I really love, and spread good news about restaurants and cafes that are doing things right. Recently, we had such a bad experience at a restaurant that I feel the need to post it here.

We went to Iorio for New Year’s Eve and had the worst experience at a restaurant since our hair raising Valentines Day at Wild Abandon. We had made reservations and we did notify the restaurant ahead of time that one of our party (me) was gluten free, but all night long the staff kept putting the wrong food in front of me.

When we first reviewed Iorio, we thought it was really great, and definitely want to note that this is one experience on one night. At the same time…

From the very start, our waiter was brief to the point of being rude. When our appetizers came, he basically threw the plates down in front of us without a word and zipped off. I had to wait for him to come back so that I could find out if the dish was gluten free, which it wasn’t. Then I had to wait for several minutes while a dish was made for me. Now I could see this happening once during a meal at a restaurant, but not three times. It happened with almost everything they put in front of me. The one time it didn’t happen, the person who brought us our food wasn’t aware that I was gluten free and didn’t know if the dish was (it turned out that it was, but by this time I was paranoid).

For dessert, a normal piece of cake was placed in front of me, and when I asked, I was amazed to discover that they had forgotten again, and I ended up waiting at least 15 minutes for a substitute dessert to come out. Again, if they had just found out, this would have been OK. Instead, they had my reservation for several weeks, and the waiter knew that I was gluten free pretty soon after he threw the appetizers at us. When they messed up our desserts, Sienna got up, went to the back, and asked to talk to the manager. The manager acted hostile when she complained about the bad service. There’s even more to the story, but we’re choosing not to include it here. Suffice it to say that our dessert was not their last mistake.

Because I’m gluten free, I know that I’m kind of high maintenance. I do my best to express gratitude for the extra trouble that restaurants have to put into serving me. While all out the food we were served was outstanding, the service at Iorio was so bad that I wondered if we had done something by mistake to irk our waiter. Then we noticed that the couple at the table next to us was just as unhappy. We have since then also noticed that the Yelp page on Iorio is starting to fill up with complaints about the service.

I keep reading about how the chef at Iorio is winning awards. So it confuses me that he would turn a blind eye and allow visitors at his restaurant to have such a horrible experience.


  1. says

    This is disappointing to read. We’ve been to Iorio a number of times and the service was excellent, although we haven’t been there since last April I think.

    I hope this is simply related to the mass crowds usually seen on NYE and not the service and treatment of gluten-free in general.

  2. says

    We again wish to apologize for the inexcuseable service on New Years. We are sorry your waiter was not able to follow our program. His performance does not reflect our values and expectations as an establishment. We have taken corrective action to ensure this does not not happen again. We take dietary needs very seriously. I instructed your waiter to remove your food off your bill. If there is anything more that I can do please call me.
    Thank you,
    Chef Chris

    • Dave says

      Thanks for writing. We’re sorry about all this, too. We know that restaurants (and people) have bad days. Our problem was about lousy service followed by what we perceived as a lack of understanding when we complained about it, and then a failure to take the right steps to make us feel cared for. When Sienna complained about the service, you weren’t particularly forthcoming about what you would do to correct it, and forced her to propose a solution. Last, when the waiter brought us our bill, it was still for the full amount, which I hope you will see placed us an incredibly awkward position.

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