My dear friend Sally found a coupon in our local newspaper for this awesome restaurant.
From the very beginning, I felt we were under dressed, but Sally insisted we go as we were.
It was a beautiful, well appointed restaurant, but completely empty, except for us. That became immediately apparent when we were told we could NOT use the coupon on the lavish buffet our server showed us before he seated us.
So, we looked at the menu for a long time, knowing we had a $10.00 buy one, get one limit. Lunch would just barely cover that. However, then we were told we each had to buy a drink in order for the coupon to apply. Two drinks added right at $5.00 to the bill. I had ONE cup of coffee and Sally had a Pepsi. She hates Pepsi, being a Coke person, but that was all they served.
I took a photo of the menu cover, which looked nothing like the place. Compare this to the outside of the restaurant! Unfortunately, I didn't get to photograph the inside before our server was back trying to push certain foods off on us.
When he scooped up the menus, I asked if I could keep the wine list long enough to take a photo. He insisted on holding it while I took a couple of photos. I wondered if he thought I might steal it or something. BTW, the "regular" drinks weren't even shown on either menu. I looked.
Sally ordered a meal from the lunch menu and got a salad and loaf of bread.
I took photos and drank my coffee while I waited
for my seafood alfredo pizza.
I think the server got frustrated when I didn't tell him to stop shredding Parmesan cheese. In revenge, he spread it all over the table instead of the pizza. Note the empty coffee cup. I always assumed (silly of me, I assure you) that coffee refills were included and automatic.
When our meal was complete, we were given the check and since I only had a $20.00 bill, I offered to pay the check and allow Sally to reimburse me after we split the tip. Our meal came to $27.46, and with our $10.00 discount, I should have gotten $2.54 change back. We both thought a $6.00 tip was sufficient, but when I got the change back, I only received $2.00. Since he left the revised bill with us, Sally gently asked (because I'm more abrupt) about the change. He said it was not his policy to return change, only bills.
I knew that was a practice for parties of 10 or more, and in very high end restaurants at dinner, but never at lunch served to two women. I was so flabbergasted I almost didn't leave the $2.00 I got back. I didn't add another dollar, though. He had to settle for what Sally left and my $2.00. What we thought was going to be a fun approximately $5.00 each lunch (not including tip), turned into over $10.00 for me (and possibly more for Sally) with tip.
Now I'm not as upset about the bill, as I am about the way we were treated. First, no buffet after pushing it so hard before we were ever seated, then we had to buy drinks with no refills that were not listed on the menu. Add to that the fact that we were treated like the server wanted us gone as soon as we sat down. So if you live in or near Wichita, KS, I can't recommend Ciao's no matter how appealing the coupon might seem on the surface!! In fact, I suggest you stay as far away from the place as possible. And remember, there are very possibly hidden charges in those restaurant coupons that arrive in your newspaper. My advise? Go elsewhere in town for real Italian food.
I'm sure your Tuesday T(ea) experience today will be so much better than mine. Please share with us, so, if nothing else, it will take my mind off the unpleasant T experience I had last week.
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