Karmel Knocking Around

It’s Wednesday…and we would have been better off with Prince Spaghetti?

We had been wanting to come to this place for what seems like forever. Honestly, it was based on the reviews. But considering we DO reviews…that’s what we do…you would think we wouldn’t be artificially influenced by the obvious carefully placed reviews. “Best family owned restaurant on the planet…” Planet? Seriously?

It was a turn-off from the start. We were “greeted”….well…not really greeted…we waited for a couple of minutes…and then a woman finally said, “Someone will be with you soon.” And we waited. And we waited. And we waited. Then the woman asked if we had a reservation. Again, seriously? The place was more than half empty. Do I REALLY need a reservation? After a few more minutes of the woman grappling with the computer, she escorted us to one of the multitude of empty tables.

Ruocco’s on 0

The place is overpriced. It’s Route 9 in Manalapan. Westfield is cheaper. I know, Melissa says I compare everything to “Westfield.” But all you have to do is look at menus and compare this place and Ferraro in Westfield. We did.

The food was just okay…nothing special…especially given the prices charged. Melissa ordered the Chicken Milanese…breaded chicken with a side of arugula salad. She said at least the chicken wasn’t greasy. That’s the plus. $25.

Chicken Milanese

I chose the Seafood fra diavolo which had clams, mussels, baby scallops, and, apparently, infantile shrimp. I mean, those shrimp were s-m-all…small. The linguine was just okay, again, nothing special. $35.

Seafood fra diavolo

After adding a soda, and a service fee, it was $69. Tack on the tip…and it was $81 for a meal that I could have gone to any strip mall pizzeria for half the price.

And I guess it wouldn’t have bothered me so much if it weren’t for the unreasonable “policies” they have.  They won’t seat anyone until your entire party is there, regardless that there is no vestibule and there are many empty tables; It states right on the menu that you can’t stay more than 90 minutes (again, even though the place is half empty). I understood that practice during Covid because of diminished capacity and social distancing, but…come on!

I know…I’m usually not this harsh. But I think I was done as soon as I picked up the napkin to wipe my mouth only to find it already had lipstick stains on it. For anyone that knows me…well…you know. There are many great places to eat on this planet…and some of them are actually also in Manalapan…that have napkins that don’t come with lipstick.

Lipstick on my napkin!

1 Comment

  • Bruce Cohen February 2, 2023

    Agree with your review of the place, Alan. At least you weren’t charged additional for the lipstick stain!

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