Archive for the ‘italian’ tag
Well, I have to say I am not too surprised about this. I ate at this Carabba's with some regularity, and twice in recent months I arrived well before the posted closing time to find the place with the doors locked. During one period, they even changed the Friday/Saturday closing hours back from 11:00 to 10:00 or maybe 10:30, I forget, but the point is that changing the hours either officialy or by fiat is Sign #1. The last few times I was there, they had started an annoying laser light show in the parking lot as if to say We are still here, and we are fun!
I can't put it on this store, but the chain as a whole has done some things I don't like in recent years, such as doing away with the olive oil bottles at the tables, and eliminating my favorite goto dish, the Tagliarini Picchi Pacchiu.
Still, I liked it well enough that it continued to be on my list. I agree with commenter Sidney about Location, Location, Location!. The last time I ate here (probably only about a week ago) I had actually been heading for the Olive Garden around the corner fronting Two Notch, but it was too packed to deal with, so I drove around and found that.. not to be the case here.
If anyone is curious about the Pizza Buffet called out on the big sign, that has nothing to do with Carrabba's, but was for this operation. In fact, I think that sign is mostly for a Graces Way development that never developed. The places that *are* down there don't bother to list on the sign.
(Hat tip to commenter Steve)
Commenter Mr. BO pointed out this Bluff Road closing after recently wanting a pizza on that side of town, but it appears that Stromboli's was gone long before that.
I wish I had known about this place when I was working out on Bluff Road, so that maybe I wouldn't have had to drive all the way to Garners Ferry to find a halfway decent lunch.
(Hat tip to commenter Mr. BO)
The State has the story of this Lexington closing for Stephano's. The long and short of it is the owners are retiring, and the building will re-open as The Root Cellar, "featur[ing] locally grown meats and produce".
It's still hard for me to believe that a restaurant opened in 1977 has been around almost 40 years -- 1977 seems like just yesterday.
UPDATE 9 June 2016 -- Here is The Free Times on 'The Root Cellar'
UPDATE 11 July 2016 -- The Root Cellar:
The first time I encountered Macaroni Grill was in Overland Park Kansas (a suburb of Kansas City). I used to get sent there often for contract work we were doing for US Sprint, which had a headquarters just a few blocks from the restaurant. It was a lively place, always crowded and with vigorous service: The servers would write their name in bold strokes on your table, and there were usually a few who would burst into Opera arias several times during a meal. The food was good too; they had an excellent Margherita pizza along with standard Italian dishes, and the bread was top-notch: large flavorful loaves served with cracked pepper and olive oil from bottles on the tables.
(The only negative about this particular place is that it has the distinction of being the only restaurant I've ever gone where the hostess implied that a bribe would get us seated..)
Anyway, after I stopped being sent to Kansas, I was glad to find that a Macaroni had opened in Columbia and I went a number of times, but it was never quite the same. There were definitely no singing servers, the Margherita pizza was off the menu and the bread loaves seemed smaller, and not as flavorful. I took a several year break after concluding that I had gotten mild food posioning after one visit, and the next time I went back, the place was almost empty, the menu was odd, the olive oil bottles were gone and I had the feeling that I was imposing on the staff by ordering food. When they brought the bill while I was still eating, and without offering me dessert (it was well before offical closing) I decided I was in no hurry to come back, and in fact did not.
Still, those were some good times back in the day..
(Hat tip to commenter Steve)
Considering the place was open from 1981 and considering how much I like pizza and Italian food in general, I'm not sure how I was totally unaware of Tony's. Perhaps because of the location, if ever I saw it, I thought "no parking", or perhaps it's because they closed at 2:30 and it would always be later when I would drive by -- I don't really know. At any rate, this Washington Plaza storefront is vacant now.
(Hat tip to commenter Julie)
I only went to Moe's Grapevine once. It was many years ago, when, I believe, I was still living out of town. I don't remember much about it other than it was perfectly OK as far as the food went, and that I saw a waitress who knew me from another Columbia restaurant.
I never got in the habit of going there however because after that, it seemed every time I drove by the place was closed. I realize I keep odd meal hours, but I would have expected to hit it sooner or later..
Commenter JB sends this link to a Free Times story on the closing.
(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)
I first knew this place as Al Amir.
After that closed, a bar called Stingers set up shop, and I totally missed the fact that it had closed until *its* follow-on operation, Marinoni's had also closed.
Actually it may not be strictly accurate to say that Stingers closed. According to this Free Times story, the same owner ran both restaurants, so it's more accurate to say that Stingers transitioned into Marinoni's. Unfortunately, I never got to either, and I have to say the pizza described in The Free Times sounds really good.
(Hat tips to commenters IrmoJeff & Jonathan)
As you can see from these pictures, the restaurant was a long narrow space. I think it might have benefited from more window tables, but the one time I ate there, I found it pleasant enough. As I recall, I had the stuffed shells with garlic bread, and it was perfectly fine. At that time, the restaurant had a cloth sign for "Zeus" hung over the "Tony's" lettering, as you can see in commenter Andrew's photos at the Tony's link above. I presume that if they had made it over the initial hump, they would have eventually gotten permanent letters over the marquee.
I'm not exactly sure when they closed -- The April issue of Skirt magazine is still in the inside rack, but that may be bi-monthly. I'm going to say it was probably at the end of May giving them about an 8 or 9 month run.
(Hat tip to commenter badger)
UPDATE 1 August 2012: Zeus is open again. See the comments for details, but here is the website.
UPDATE 4 October 2012: As mentioned in the comments, Zeus is unfortunately closed again:
UPDATE 8 October 2014 -- Monterrey will be moving here from across Knox Abbott when their current building (bought by USC) is torn down:
Cerino's was one of those places that opened and closed while I was living out of town. It was also located in such an odd place (a historic house well away form any other restaurants or retail) that I would always forget about it. I remember that I would be in town for the weekend, be driving around, see the place and think Oh yeah, I completely forgot about that -- I'll have to try it some time, and then promptly forgot it again.
I'm not sure when the place closed, I know it's listed in the Feburary 1997 phonebook, but not in the February 2008 one. Currently the building is a law office.
(Hat tips to commenters Robert Sproul & badger)