Jay and I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Wednesday because I had to work on Tuesday. We chose to go to Ariano’s in Media for dinner, since we’d been to Ariano’s once before and enjoyed great food and decent service. The choice seemed a likely winner. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
I started off with their version of Cesar salad, which boasted a Gorgonzola dressing and fresh Parmesan. The croutons were quite standard, perhaps even from a store-bought bag, and the dressing lacked the creaminess and punch of flavor I’ve come to expect from Cesar salad dressing. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve had much better. Jay ordered the crab bisque, which also lacked a creaminess and had shells in it! I was probably more upset about this than Jay was.
For dinner, we both ordered pizzas.
I tried the Scogna, which consisted of roasted tomatoes, sauteed arugula, and fresh mozzarella. I really enjoyed the crust and the simplicity of the ingredients, but the entire pizza lacked seasoning. I had to ask for salt and pepper, which is usually not the case. For $12.25, I shouldn’t have had to ask for salt.
Jay ordered the Toluca, which was topped with strip steak, chorizo, guacamole and a chipotle-tomato sauce. As you can see, the amount of guacamole was overwhelming. The strip steak was hacked into large chunks and was nearly impossible to eat without a knife. The weight of food on top of the dough made it impossible to pick up a slice and eat it like you’re supposed to eat pizza. Whenever Jay picked up a piece, all of the toppings would fall off. Also, the chorizo was extremely spicy, and I like spicy things! I couldn’t eat more than a bite because my mouth was on fire. Needless to say, we would not recommend this pizza to anyone.
As for the service, I suggested at one point that we simply walk out. Our server was extremely inattentive and when he came to take our order, he didn’t say anything. He simply stood there and looked at us expectantly. He frequented the table behind us, I’m assuming, because it included a couple over the age of 40. It was glaringly obvious that he cared more about their table than ours because they were a party of four, and would tip higher.
Overall, I was extremely disappointed. Jay and I had a really good time there once before, but they truly lacked in both food quality and service on Wednesday night.