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Old 07-25-2022, 11:32 AM   #1
IrishEyes
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Default Fratello's

First, I just want to say that I understand the issues restaurants are having with staffing, etc. and usually will not post negative comments. However, I’ve worked in that industry, so I tend to be a little more critical when it comes to service and food quality.
A group of 8 went to Fratello’s on Saturday evening at 5:45pm. Called earlier to make a reservation but they do not accept reservations even for large groups. We waited almost 40 minutes for a table. Once seated and ordered, it took over an hour to receive our food. I had the eggplant appetizer, which used to be very good, but on Saturday it was dry and overcooked with very little marinara sauce underneath the eggplant, none on top. I ordered a side of gluten free pasta to go with it – and was charged $10! Are you kidding me? I could purchase 3-4 lbs. of GF pasta for that price. I don’t mind paying for good service and quality food, but dislike price gauging especially after waiting over an hour for the food. We told our server we were going to the Opera House at 8pm and needed to be served soon or we would cancel. No attempt to placate us when we asked about the wait; just got an attitude from the server that she was doing all she could and then avoided coming by our table. The food finally arrived at 7:35 and we asked for our checks at the same time!
Overall, very disappointing meal, service and wait time. Their seating capacity (they now have tables in their parking lot, upstairs outside patio, etc.) is far more than their small kitchen can handle so hence the hour+ wait for food. If their attempt is to make more money by having more tables, they will end up losing more business with bad service and wait times. Won’t be going back anytime soon.
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Old 07-25-2022, 11:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishEyes View Post
First, I just want to say that I understand the issues restaurants are having with staffing, etc. and usually will not post negative comments. However, I’ve worked in that industry, so I tend to be a little more critical when it comes to service and food quality.
A group of 8 went to Fratello’s on Saturday evening at 5:45pm. Called earlier to make a reservation but they do not accept reservations even for large groups. We waited almost 40 minutes for a table. Once seated and ordered, it took over an hour to receive our food. I had the eggplant appetizer, which used to be very good, but on Saturday it was dry and overcooked with very little marinara sauce underneath the eggplant, none on top. I ordered a side of gluten free pasta to go with it – and was charged $10! Are you kidding me? I could purchase 3-4 lbs. of GF pasta for that price. I don’t mind paying for good service and quality food, but dislike price gauging especially after waiting over an hour for the food. We told our server we were going to the Opera House at 8pm and needed to be served soon or we would cancel. No attempt to placate us when we asked about the wait; just got an attitude from the server that she was doing all she could and then avoided coming by our table. The food finally arrived at 7:35 and we asked for our checks at the same time!
Overall, very disappointing meal, service and wait time. Their seating capacity (they now have tables in their parking lot, upstairs outside patio, etc.) is far more than their small kitchen can handle so hence the hour+ wait for food. If their attempt is to make more money by having more tables, they will end up losing more business with bad service and wait times. Won’t be going back anytime soon.
I cant speak to you specific situation, but I have learned the hard way that food service on Friday and Saturday nights almost anywhere in the lakes region and during peek vacation season is not a good choice.

Sorry but anywhere that is even just decent is overcrowded, staff are over worked, customers have unrealistic expectations, customers want to pay reasonable home based prices in a vacation setting, and yes food quality varies and too often is under-par for that same place on a Thursday or some other day.

If you do not want to pay Vacation Resort prices, wait longer than normal periods of time, and if you have ANY expectation for food quality, cook at home, or risk disappointment.

Sorry, thats just they way it has been for the last 20 years now. I do not come up to Winnipesaukee for day trips on Saturdays any more! And if I were renting for a week of more, I would NOT attempt to go out during prime vacation season on a Saturday, its not going to end well. Might not be a disaster, but just not a good choice. Any weekday will be better.

ATB
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Old 07-25-2022, 12:16 PM   #3
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I cant speak to you specific situation, but I have learned the hard way that food service on Friday and Saturday nights almost anywhere in the lakes region and during peek vacation season is not a good choice.

Sorry but anywhere that is even just decent is overcrowded, staff are over worked, customers have unrealistic expectations, customers want to pay reasonable home based prices in a vacation setting, and yes food quality varies and too often is under-par for that same place on a Thursday or some other day.

If you do not want to pay Vacation Resort prices, wait longer than normal periods of time, and if you have ANY expectation for food quality, cook at home, or risk disappointment.

Sorry, thats just they way it has been for the last 20 years now. I do not come up to Winnipesaukee for day trips on Saturdays any more! And if I were renting for a week of more, I would NOT attempt to go out during prime vacation season on a Saturday, its not going to end well. Might not be a disaster, but just not a good choice. Any weekday will be better.

ATB
I agree with everything you said about the vacation resort prices and service on weekends. People that move here from urban areas (myself included) are surprised by the prices and expect them to be lower since you can dine in Boston for less!
Fratello's problem is easy to fix - eliminate 1/3 of the tables and accept reservations so you will know what to expect for guests on any given evening. Oh and putting tables in your parking lot and then asking guests to go park at O's is not acceptable! If I have to go park at another restaurant, I will be dining there! They were not lacking for wait staff; they just couldn't handle the volume of diners. Sorry for the rant!
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Old 07-25-2022, 12:20 PM   #4
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We were at Fratello,s sometime around 2015-16. At that time, we found the wait very long although the restaurant was less than half full and the server was not pleasant. The food ws OK albeit expensive for what was served. Consequently, we have never returned. Look like nothing much has changed. Sure, wish we had another restaurant like the Lyons Den available. We miss them so much.

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Old 07-25-2022, 02:24 PM   #5
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My family was up to visit us a couple of weeks ago, and we went out
to Patrick's Pub, like we do every year. Never been disappointed . It
was a Thurs. early evening and we called ahead to get seating for 9.
Average price of dinners are 15-18 dollars, which is reasonable. Service
was excellent, and my 7 month old grandson declared it a hit with his
voracious appetite. Bon Appetit!
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Old 07-25-2022, 02:27 PM   #6
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It’s really a chore to try eating out, especially during the season, so we are quite happy doing easy grilling right here at home….no reservations, no waiting for a table, no stress. I recommend it! Our friends and family agree 100% because they do the same thing.
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Old 07-25-2022, 02:29 PM   #7
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I agree with everything you said about the vacation resort prices and service on weekends. People that move here from urban areas (myself included) are surprised by the prices and expect them to be lower since you can dine in Boston for less!
Fratello's problem is easy to fix - eliminate 1/3 of the tables and accept reservations so you will know what to expect for guests on any given evening. Oh and putting tables in your parking lot and then asking guests to go park at O's is not acceptable! If I have to go park at another restaurant, I will be dining there! They were not lacking for wait staff; they just couldn't handle the volume of diners. Sorry for the rant!
Its not the world we grew up in, businesses have little concern for these problems or their impact on their business.

And way too many staff are resentful for even having to do this kind of work, as if everyone wants to live fake pretend wealthy lives like the internet influencers. If Washington wants to accomplishing something meaningful, it would be to rid us of influencers.

Just a bunch of kids who dont actually know very much, but who have an over inflated sense of self-importance and are desperate to gain celebrity-like status but based on NOTHING!

Hows that for a rant ;-)

Apologies to anyone here with a child who aspires to be an influencer, NOT!

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Old 07-25-2022, 04:42 PM   #8
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Its not the world we grew up in, businesses have little concern for these problems or their impact on their business.

And way too many staff are resentful for even having to do this kind of work, as if everyone want to live fake pretend wealthy lives like the internet influencers. If Washington wants to accomplishing something meaningful, it would be to rid us of influencers.

Just a bunch of kids who dont actually know very much, but who have an over inflated sense of self-importance and are desperate to gain celebrity-like status but based on NOTHING!

Hows that for a rant ;-)

Apologies to anyone here with a child who aspires to be an influencer, NOT!
WOW! Please leaver all that bitterness in MA. NH is a happy, tolerant place.
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Old 07-25-2022, 04:55 PM   #9
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WOW! Please leaver all that bitterness in MA. NH is a happy, tolerant place.
HA, sorry but not sorry.

No respect for "influencers" its a made up profession that benefits no one but the people doing it.

As for restaurant workers, I understand some of why of them are disgruntled, as way too many customers are demanding and unappreciative and cheap. No one wants to deal with that! But if you can tell me with a straight face you observe the same kind of hustle and sense of commitment to such work as you saw 30, 40, 50 years ago, then you need to point me to that restaurant. I will be a regular! Otherwise I am entitled to my observations just as much as the last/next person.

ATB
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Old 07-25-2022, 05:12 PM   #10
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We received a gift card for Fratellos earlier this summer, and although we had been underwhelmed with them several times oner the years, we went out for an Italian dinner there. (We prefer the Italian Farmhouse in Plymouth).

The service was OK, although it was a weeknight. The wait for our food was long. The food was bland as bland can get. The marinara had no seasoning at all, and the meatballs were tasteless. The sausage was the least tasty of all. We will NEVER go back there again.

Fortunately the gift card was also good at the Homestead, so we went there later and had a nice pub experience in their Tavern room. The food was good but not fancy. Great ale selection on tap too.

Skip Fratellos.
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Old 07-25-2022, 06:18 PM   #11
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I agree with everything you said about the vacation resort prices and service on weekends. People that move here from urban areas (myself included) are surprised by the prices and expect them to be lower since you can dine in Boston for less!
Fratello's problem is easy to fix - eliminate 1/3 of the tables and accept reservations so you will know what to expect for guests on any given evening. Oh and putting tables in your parking lot and then asking guests to go park at O's is not acceptable! If I have to go park at another restaurant, I will be dining there! They were not lacking for wait staff; they just couldn't handle the volume of diners. Sorry for the rant!
Two items come to mind...
Too many tables for the kitchen staff to handle; and too many customers wanting to come in at the same time.

Since you are a tourist... Saturday would be appropriate. But for too many locals, they would just crowd in even when knowing that it was tourist season and weekends should be left to the tourists.

I have my favorite restaurant, that I happen to know generally has a slow Wednesday, so being local... I support them on Wednesdays.
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Old 07-25-2022, 06:43 PM   #12
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About a month ago after waiting for a table for 45 we went in and found they had were infested with small flying insects. Waiter said they had been trying to get rid of them for a while with no luck…would have been nice to know before waiting.


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Old 07-25-2022, 07:36 PM   #13
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I just googled gluten-free pasta and found that a little over 2 pounds cost about $14 or $15.

Did you know a typical commercial kitchen will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 burners on the stove. When the chef attempts to prepare dishes for a party of eight, a sense of orchestration has to take place to time the use of each burner in harmony. A restaurant that serves a lot of pasta will likely prepare it in bulk and then be able to quickly warm it in one pot of water that is constantly hot. (One burner down) it takes about 8 to 10 minutes to boil one and a half quarts of water for a special request Likely the amount of water needed to prepare one order of gluten-free pasta. Then 5 more minutes to cook the pasta. So 15 minutes may we’ll have been invested to accommodate someone’s special dietary preference. Knowing that would influence how a chef delegated the use of burners. Quite a challenge for a party of 8 in a full restaurant if you ask me.

Fratello’s has been around a long time and seems to be busier now than ever. That can’t be because they’re doing something wrong.
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Old 07-25-2022, 08:54 PM   #14
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I just googled gluten-free pasta and found that a little over 2 pounds cost about $14 or $15.

Did you know a typical commercial kitchen will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 burners on the stove. When the chef attempts to prepare dishes for a party of eight, a sense of orchestration has to take place to time the use of each burner in harmony. A restaurant that serves a lot of pasta will likely prepare it in bulk and then be able to quickly warm it in one pot of water that is constantly hot. (One burner down) it takes about 8 to 10 minutes to boil one and a half quarts of water for a special request Likely the amount of water needed to prepare one order of gluten-free pasta. Then 5 more minutes to cook the pasta. So 15 minutes may we’ll have been invested to accommodate someone’s special dietary preference. Knowing that would influence how a chef delegated the use of burners. Quite a challenge for a party of 8 in a full restaurant if you ask me.

Fratello’s has been around a long time and seems to be busier now than ever. That can’t be because they’re doing something wrong.

Well, I don't know where you searched for gluten free pasta, but I buy it all the time and it's under $4/lb.
https://www.vitacost.com/tinkyada-br...ten+free+pasta - $3.59/lb - it's the same price in Hannaford and little less at Market Basket.

If a restaurant has gluten free on their menu, preparing it for guests should not be an issue as they only offered one kind and I wasn't the only one in my party having it. And yes, having worked in some of the finer restaurants in the Lakes region, I'm very well aware of how a kitchen works.

Waiting over an hour for food is not acceptable. If they had warned us the wait would be this long, we would have gone elsewhere. So, I'm sure that's why they didn't mention the wait. Cram in as many patrons as you can to capitalize on it regardless of the dining experience to the customer. They're busy now because of vacationers. Unfortunately for them, we are all locals. How we are treated in the busy season will determine if we bother to frequent their establishments in the off season when they really need our business.

When they told us to go park at O's we should have stayed and had dinner there!
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Old 07-25-2022, 09:03 PM   #15
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About a month ago after waiting for a table for 45 we went in and found they had were infested with small flying insects. Waiter said they had been trying to get rid of them for a while with no luck…would have been nice to know before waiting.


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Eeeeewwwww
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Old 07-25-2022, 10:10 PM   #16
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Well, I don't know where you searched for gluten free pasta, but I buy it all the time and it's under $4/lb.
https://www.vitacost.com/tinkyada-br...ten+free+pasta - $3.59/lb - it's the same price in Hannaford and little less at Market Basket.

If a restaurant has gluten free on their menu, preparing it for guests should not be an issue as they only offered one kind and I wasn't the only one in my party having it. And yes, having worked in some of the finer restaurants in the Lakes region, I'm very well aware of how a kitchen works.

Waiting over an hour for food is not acceptable. If they had warned us the wait would be this long, we would have gone elsewhere. So, I'm sure that's why they didn't mention the wait. Cram in as many patrons as you can to capitalize on it regardless of the dining experience to the customer. They're busy now because of vacationers. Unfortunately for them, we are all locals. How we are treated in the busy season will determine if we bother to frequent their establishments in the off season when they really need our business.

When they told us to go park at O's we should have stayed and had dinner there!
As a local, I would presume that you would give way to the tourists knowing the timing.
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Old 07-25-2022, 11:44 PM   #17
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Irish Eyes: There's another thread about this, but when you found out they didn't take reservations, with experience in the industry, you should have hung up and moved on to another restaurant.

Cook time? I remember a cafeteria style restaurant in San Jose, CA. They served all sorts of fresh pasta. Emphasis on fresh. You chose your pasta and they started cooking it, while you went down the line and chose sauces, sides, etc. At the end, they assembled your pasta, saucers, etc, etc. Great meal. 3-5 minutes in line. I think this may be what Faro Express does. Although I've never been there, I understand they serve a good meal.

What was the show at the Opera House? Hope that was worthwhile.
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Old 07-26-2022, 12:35 AM   #18
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They could have just ate at O's.
If they parked there... it meant easier access than crossing the street to Fratello's.
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Old 07-26-2022, 06:07 AM   #19
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They could have just ate at O's.
If they parked there... it meant easier access than crossing the street to Fratello's.
They were going to the Opera House. Eating at O's would still require crossing Union Ave.

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Old 07-26-2022, 08:21 AM   #20
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They were going to the Opera House. Eating at O's would still require crossing Union Ave.

Dave
It would also require them to move their car after dinner if they were parked in Fratellos parking lot because O’s is the opera house parking as well.

In the original post it was 3 or 4 pounds for $10, in the follow up post it’s $4 a pound which would make it $12 or $16. Which is it.
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Old 08-16-2022, 01:56 AM   #21
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The fact that anyone thinks that this food is anywhere close to good is disturbing!


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Old 08-16-2022, 10:23 AM   #22
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Different people have different tastes in food.

"Good" food to one may be "lousy" food to another.

The implication from your post as I read it is that one should not consider this food to be "good".

How, when and where were you appointed the arbiter of "good" food?

Can we not live in a world where we can follow our own personal tastes in food without shame being bestowed upon us by others?
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Old 08-17-2022, 11:05 AM   #23
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We try to go to our "go to" restaurants during the week during the summer. Going on Friday or Saturday night is tricky, and can result in poor service and/or quality. My wife and I have always thought of Fratello's as being "solid", not great but consistently good. Same with the Homestead, it's sister restaurant. If you go during the weekdays, I think the results may be better. We just went to Lago last night by boat and had a nice meal. Again, I consider Lago to be solid.

Please consider Ledge Water Steakhouse in Bristol. They have been spot on this year. We've only gone during the week, but the service and food have been great.
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Old 08-17-2022, 02:32 PM   #24
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Different people have different tastes in food.

"Good" food to one may be "lousy" food to another.

The implication from your post as I read it is that one should not consider this food to be "good".

How, when and where were you appointed the arbiter of "good" food?

Can we not live in a world where we can follow our own personal tastes in food without shame being bestowed upon us by others?
Very well said. To take it a step further, I would say: "Can we not live in a world where we can follow our own personal (fill in the blank) without shame being bestowed upon us by others?" Differing opinions are taboo on this forum, according to the self-appointed vice webmasters and experts (in their own minds)......
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Old 08-17-2022, 02:39 PM   #25
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Very well said. To take it a step further, I would say: "Can we not live in a world where we can follow our own personal (fill in the blank) without shame being bestowed upon us by others?" Differing opinions are taboo on this forum, according to the self-appointed vice webmasters and experts (in their own minds)......
Boy, ain't that the truth!
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