Fiamma Restaurant

Restaurant: Fiamma Restaurant
Locations: 2418 Park Road
Website: Fiamma Restaurant
Dress: Nice-casual
Cuisine: Italian
Price Range:

  • Appetizers: $7.50-9.75
  • Entrées: $7.50-26.50

Rating: 0 out of 5 spoons

The Scoop:

I just need to vent for a moment. We’ve all had terrible restaurant experiences, right? The hair in the food, the rude employee, the outrageous check — there are plenty of things that can ruin an experience. I can roll with many a punch, but I want to share with you, as fellow consumers, how we were treated at Fiamma. Once you’re armed with the information, you can make the best choice about whether or not to patronize the restaurant.

Mike and I have been meaning to visit Fiamma since last year. We wanted to go during Charlotte Restaurant Week, but plans fell through. Since then, the somewhat expensive restaurant has simply never been at the top of our list. My very sweet roommate, knowing that I wanted to visit, gave me a generous sum and made a reservation for my birthday. I was beyond excited.

When Mike and I arrived at the restaurant, we were seated and given water and some absolutely delicious pesto. It was rich and drowned in flavorful olive oil. I was so excited about the meal to come, because surely, based on this tiny taste, it would be phenomenal. Well, unfortunately, we never ate another bite. Nor got drinks. Nor, apparently, even had a waitress. Let me explain.

Fiamma's Breadsticks and Pesto

The only morsel to pass through our lips at Fiamma: Breadsticks and Pesto

After we got our water, we were trying desperately not to fill up on the pesto, but no one seemed to be coming to take our drink order, much less our meal order. We waited. And waited. And waited. The two girls seated behind us, who were obviously in the same boat, finally flagged down a waitress and requested that someone serve them. She apologized, and we thought the oversight would be taken care of. So we waited. And waited. Plenty of employees were milling about, but apparently none of them were waiters? Perhaps they were simply restaurant props? A mirage produced by hunger? Who knows.

Finally, the host walked back and asked, sensing the problem, “Have you been waited on yet?” We told him no, relieved that the oversight would be taken care of. So we waited. And waited. And . . . you get the idea. The waitress did eventually come over, looking quite huffy (I think she was the only one waiting all those tables and, frankly, I’d be huffy too, though perhaps that doesn’t excuse it), and asked if we’d heard the specials. She quickly described them. I was about to cry out, “We know what we want! Here’s our order!” but her manner made it clear she was not our waitress and was only there to inform us. She left quickly. And no one else came!

Finally, I was feeling disappointed and Mike and I were both very annoyed. Mike walked over to the kitchen, unsure of where the waiters could be hiding, and said, “Can someone please take our order?” I hate having to press someone to serve me at a restaurant, though, because it makes me feel quite unwelcome. I collected my purse and we left. It was a struggle to find some other nice place to eat my birthday dinner with no reservation.

Everyone has their bad days, and perhaps Fiamma is en pointe all of the other 364 days of the year. My sister quite enjoyed a dinner she once ate there, and as I mentioned, they have great . . . uh . . . pesto. All I know is after my own ridiculous experience, I don’t feel comfortable giving them any spoons at all, and I won’t be giving them another chance to ruin my evening.

Okay, spill it! What’s your worst restaurant story? Whether you name names or not, tell us about a bad experience you’ve had. Or have you tried Fiamma and want to recount a similar or different experience? Share by clicking on the “Comments” link!


11 responses to “Fiamma Restaurant

  1. Had a very similar experience at the Cheesecake Factory… ruined our evening since it took about 3 hours to get a salad! We have never been back. There are too many restaurants to waste time on a “gamble”.

  2. charlottespoon

    Was that the Cheesecake Factory in Charlotte? I think I’ve had long waits there as well, but thankfully never 3 hours. I’ve only been a couple of times, but I agree — too many great restaurants to waste time going back and giving a “gamble” another shot.

  3. That’s just what happened to Us at M5.
    I walked in wearing rhinestones and obviously dressed for some occasion. 45 minutes for bread sticks….. Then they noticed us when we were walking out the door…or rather the 3 blond 15 year old hostesses noticed us and ran for help.
    One Anniversary….my first….ruined.
    On the bright side the 1970’s mirrored round room with orchids, and coke society vogue white leather studio 54 chic was lovely. sitting on the edge of a booth by the door wasn’t.

    • charlottespoon

      Oh you’re kidding, Deana!! Really?!

      That is such a shame because I’ve eaten at M5 before and really enjoyed the food. But restaurants need to realize that one experience like that, and they’ve lost you! I hope you sent an email or called to let them know. They need to realize that people’s anniversaries, birthdays, and other milestones are being celebrated within their walls, first of all. And secondly, they need to treat EVERY meal like it was a special one, regardless of the occasion!

      Here’s hoping the rest of your anniversary went smoothly 🙂 Happy first!

  4. That sounds awful. My wife would have had us talking with the manager after about 3o minutes. Really bizzare and ridiculous that you were treated this way. I have not eaten there but always have only heard good things. I’ve been to Tria Terra which I believe is their sister restaurant (Carmel Commons shopping center on Hwy 51, between Carmel & Johnston Rd. next door to Chuck E Cheese). They serve the same breadsticks and pesto which is excellent. Their homemade pastas are really good and their sangria is also good. More importantly, the service has been great. Their manager is seen out and about checking on everyone and even helping the servers to ensure a good experience.

    • charlottespoon

      Hi RC!

      We probably should’ve been more proactive, but I’m always embarrassed to talk with the manager about negative service. Especially BEFORE the meal! I always worry about vindictiveness or hostility from the staff.

      I’ve heard nice things about Tria Terra too — perhaps Mike and I will try that as an alternative for Fiamma. It’s a participant in Charlotte Restaurant Week, which makes it more affordable! And I’d love some great service right about now! Thanks for the recommendation!

      • Jennifer S.

        I tried to take my new husband and my out of town friend to Tria Terra for some pasta last weekend, and we think they didn’t pay their rent. The door had a notice on it and everything was dark. Bad News? I dunno…we wound up at Zio Authentic Italian and it was delish…so I would recommend it, despite its hole in the wall appearance!

      • charlottespoon

        Yikes, thanks for letting me know, Jennifer! Glad I didn’t trek down there only to find it had vanished! RC also recommended Passion8 Bistro on another thread — lots of new places to try. Thanks for the recommendation!

      • Hello Charlottespoon,

        Thank you for the reviews about different Italian restaurants in Charlotte.

        I heard that Urban Food Group is opening a new Italian Trattoria in Mid town , Charlotte in Oct09.

        I would try this restaurant next week.

  5. I’m late to the party again. Thats too bad about Fiamma, I’ve always had good or at least decent service there. Their fresh pasta is delicious, but their risottos are fantastic – best in CLT hands down.

    Oh and I second the nod for Zio. Great neighborhood joint.

    • charlottespoon

      It might’ve just been an off night, Jackson, but it’s a shame to lose customers over it!

      Thanks for the recommendation!

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