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Casa Grugno Ristorante - Taormina, Italy | Restaurant Review

The Worst Restaurant Experience Ever!


Restaurant Category : International, Italian

Casa Grugno – Taormina, Italy: Our trip to Italy yielded many fabulous dining encounters; we ate in gorgeous restaurants that proved to be great experiences. However, we did have dinner at one place that left a particularly sour taste in my mouth! After five weeks in Southern Italy, I can easily say that my experience at Casa Grugno was the absolute worst experience I had, not only on this trip, but in my umpteen years of well experienced travel. Horrible!

We had read good things about this restaurant and its modern Sicilian fare, and so we decided to dine here. Once we were seated, we settled on the tasting menu that had paired wines. We expected no less in a restaurant that had rave reviews!

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When our food came, we were rather disappointed that it wasn’t anything extraordinary. It tasted like every other Sicilian restaurant (we’ve certainly had better!). When the wine pairing and tasting commenced, our server brought the wines and, unfortunately, his highly unprofessional opinions.

The goal of wine tasting is to be introduced to wines that are complementary to the food being served. Instead of receiving valuable wine insights from our “steward,” we got vague and amateurish statements such as “this is a good wine” and “this is from Austria. It’s good.” From that point on, we knew of his subpar mental aptitude for wine.

First and foremost, no proper restaurant would stock “bad wine,” which implied our foolish server’s lack of wine knowledge and service. Second, we realized later on that the wine we had was from Italy, not Austria! What an imbecile! I find it rather insulting that a top rated restaurant would allow such service in their establishment.

When we have had enough of that circus, we got our check and headed straight for the door. On the way out, I saw the Austrian chef (Andreas Zangerl) who was also part owner of the restaurant. He asked how our experience was, and of course I bluntly told him that our experience was flat out disappointing. I cited the wine pairing and tasting menu incident but he refused to believe me (apparently, his son is in charge of wine affairs!). Before I knew it, he was screaming and cursing at me and driving us out! How’s that for customer service??

Casa Grugno receives my rock bottom rating of NOT BOMBASTIC. It is now where close to the best restaurant in Taormina. I could not believe this was a Michelin restaurant. The unintelligent service and mediocre food coupled with the chef’s horrible manners probably deserve an even lower rating if possible!!!

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