Last night, several friends and I celebrated a birthday at J. Razzo’s in Carmel, Indiana. This was my second visit to the restaurant, and the food was every bit as good as I remembered. J. Razzo’s features upscale Italian with a large wine selection, and a fun cocktail list with localized names for martinis and rum drinks.
I ordered The Roundabout, and would have also sampled Carmel at Sunset, if our server had ever returned to ask if we needed anything. Instead, she brought our checks without comment, adding a 20% gratuity automatically due to our party’s size. Many of us were surprised by the appearance of the checks because we had intended to make a night of our celebration and would have ordered additional drinks and dessert.
The food and drinks we were served tasted amazing, but the hurried service left me feeling a little disappointed. We had arrived with an advanced reservation and were seated in the party room with 2 other large groups. I liked that this area was separate and closed off with heavy curtains — we didn’t have to feel like our loud, boisterous celebration was affecting more intimate dinners. But it seems a little out of sight, out of mind.
Our server only came by a few times and usually only when requested. I never did get the water I had ordered twice, nor did anyone ever ask if we needed anything. The first time someone stopped by our table without prompting was to offer to box up our meals — which was definitely needed. The lasagna portion is ginormous, and there should be enough leftover for at least two lunches for the hubby.
There was one nice surprise — they brought a dish of chocolate ice cream out for our birthday girl. We sang happy birthday to her on our own, and spent a few more minutes at the table chatting before calling it a night. The $5 Martini Night special looked like an intriguing option for another girls’ night, but other than a mention on the cocktail menu, I couldn’t find anything more about it. There was no date listed nor is it included on their event page online.
But, for the price we spent on a simple pasta dinner and drinks, I’m not really sure the service warrants a return visit any time soon. J. Razzo’s did recently open a second location in Westfield, Indiana. It seems to have a slightly more casual atmosphere from my cursory glance, so I may be willing to try it another day — especially with the amazing group of women I dined with last night.
The company was awesome, the food was amazing, but the service just didn’t do it justice.