The Italian job

The Rosami vodka sauce at A&M Rosami.

The Rosami vodka sauce at A&M Rosami.

Photo By Amy Beck

A&M Rosami is open for lunch, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday; and for dinner, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., seven days a week.

A&M Rosami, which opened about four months ago, occupies the former location of Pierino’s. I liked Pierino’s but was not expecting to walk into the exact same restaurant set-up, with the more casual pizza restaurant on one side, the bar in the middle, and the “nicer” restaurant off to the right. My friend MG and I stood at the bar while three different people rushed around and said they would be right with us. When a smiling server finally came back to us, she apologized for the chaos and explained they didn’t expect to be so slammed. This was confusing as the restaurant was mostly empty.

Once we were seated, I noticed a blinding row of track lighting shone directly into my eyes and lit up the entire restaurant, giving it a sterile feel. Good thing I hadn’t planned on making kissy faces at MG during dinner. Under the glaring lights, I noted how dated the decor was.

Another 10 minutes passed before the same waitress who greeted us—apparently the only staff member actually working—came back to take our drink order. The wine list was limited so we went with a glass of the Alexander Valley Cabernet ($8) and Château St. Michelle Merlot ($8). We also ordered an appetizer of scampi al vino bianco ($11). A loaf of warm, soft bread kept us occupied while we waited for the wine and appetizer. When the appetizer finally arrived, the portions were generous; however, the shrimp were swimming in a bowl of watery red sauce. The shrimp were chewy, bland and overcooked, and tasted as though they came from a big frozen bag. The chunks of tomatoes had a fine flavor, but the watery red sauce turned me off. When our waitress came to clear the appetizer, she left the plates with the shrimp tails on it. About 20 minutes later, our soup and salad was brought out. The salad was fresh but consisted of only lettuce, cabbage and shaved carrots. MG went with the clam chowder, which was pretty good, with large clams and a rich flavor.

By the time our entrées arrived, we had been there well over an hour. I ordered the manicotti ($14), which was bland except for the sweetness of the red sauce. There was hardly any spinach inside, and the ricotta fell flat. MG ordered the pollo Marsala ($19). The large plate arrived heaped with a grayish brown mess, with lots of green onions, chunks of chicken and mushrooms, and a huge side of pasta and red sauce. Oddly enough, the dish reminded me of Chinese food—I suspect the massive amounts of green onions were to blame. Other than that, the dish had no real flavor. The pasta had that same overwhelming sweet sauce on it. We both probably ate three bites of each dish before calling it quits. All the while, the shrimp tails remained at the table. When we flagged our waitress down to get our check, we were held hostage at the table while she told us about the difficulties she had been having lately due to her ex-boyfriend. I practically ran to the car once she left.

Overall, I can’t believe we paid such high prices for such an awful experience. The food was bland, the service was sketchy, and the ambiance was awful.