Reviews for: Ricciuti's Restaurant
Fabulous food and experience.
By: Miro Franz (Apr 22, 2011)
We had dinner there last week and it was wonderful. The dishes were unique (see their menu), included in-season produce, tasted very fresh, and had well balanced flavors and textures. We had a larger group of diverse eaters (children, foodies, meat/potatoes, betty crocker types) and EVERYONE was very pleased with their meals. It was a thumbs up for the whole table. Not to mention that the staff was very cordial and helpful with information about the dishes and providing recommendations. Will definitely be back.
By: (Nov 26, 2008)
I appreciate your response and will be sure to visit and support your transition. Will you consider wheat and gluten-free choices? Also, tea is becoming everso popular...Do you offer any loose varieties/speciaties? ...with specialty desserts...
Keep up the good-work...I'll be seeing you soon!
Ricciuti's is a wonderful restaurant
By: Kathy Cohen (Nov 26, 2008)
I just read the previous review for one of my favorite restaurants, and think it's very unfair. The point of a restaurant is to serve good food, with friendly service, isn't it? Ricciuti's does this with consistant flair.
I certainly applaud their efforts to be as local and 'green', I think it's important to support restaurants that do what they can, but can't believe someone would give them a 2 star rating because there may have been some question about the political correctness of some of the food.
Thanks Ricciuti's for a consistantly great experience!
a good try, but somewhat disappointing
By: Nelly Molano di Targiani (Nov 21, 2008)
My husband, two young children and I recently visited Ricciutis for a weeknight dinner after hearing about the restaurant. We were very excited to hear that there was a nearby restaurant whose speciality was local, sustainably raised food. Overall we were happy but disappointed with our experience.
We enjoyed pulling open the main door and seeing the sign for 'no trans-fat'. That was great! At the table was a card stating that the restaurant was on 100% wind power. Fantastic. The Olney House, where the restaurant in located, is a stunning 200 year old toll house and were really amazed by the room that we were sat, next to a beautiful fire place. There was a massive tree on the property sized the likes of which Ive never seen on the east coast.
We ordered a half bottle of 'simple red' wine and recieved a bottle from Ablemarle in Virginia near Charlottesville, with a lovely fragrant bouquet that held it's own through and through. The waitress approached us with the news that the evenings special was Hawaiin tuna. My heart sank, as fish from Hawaii, anyway you slice it, could not survive the labeling of 'sustainable' on it's 4000 mile airplane journey to my table.
I was pleased to read on the menu that the chicken came from nearby Pennsylvania and had been raised humanely and sustainable. Next however, I asked the waitress where the beef came from and whether it was grass fed or corn fed. She left the table to inquire and came back to the table and said that she was told it was from Roseda's, a small, local cattle operation in Monkton, MD north of Baltimore that grass feeds their beeves, but then finishes them off in a feed lot with corn for the last 2 months of their lives (presumably for the 'marbling' effect that corn will give the meat, but a feed lot?? There are more sustainable, humane choices that than availabe locally, Wagon Wheel or Hedgeapple for starters) . I mentioned knowing of Roseda's and I stated, 'oh then it was grass raised and corn finished' and she corrected several times saying 'no they said that it is 100% corn fed'. Moreover, she seemed inconvenienced by my asking.
Several things on the menu were shocking in their provenance in that this could not possibly be on a menu of a place claiming to be part of the local food movement. Kudos to the both of you for even making an attempt at offering sustainable food at a restaurant but why not grass fed beef (there are several excellent local choices - i.e. Hedgeapple farms in Frederick)? Why tuna from 4000 miles away? It doesnt make sense if you are serious about taking claims to be local.
Comments on this Review:
James Ricciuti says: (Nov 22, 2008)
Nelly, Thank you for your comments, I apologize for any misunderstanding regarding the Roseda beef. It is pasture raised and corn finished and all the cattle are raised in Maryland, Delaware and PA. We have tried to many different 100% grass fed beef producers but the customer response has been less than stellar due to the differences in texture and taste. I will keep searching. As far as the tuna and other seafood is concerned, we do are best to buy local as much as possible. Being on the east coast, we do not have a lot of options this time of year for fin fish. The tuna is not local but is from a sustainable tuna fishery that uses troll caught methods, which eliminates any by catch. The species of fish that are available are not fished in a sustainable way or they are over fished so we choose buy all of our fin fish from the west coast this time of year because they have the best controlled fisheries in the world. Our oysters come from the east coast and our shrimp are raised on the eastern shore of Maryland. We do not claim to be 100% local or sustainable on our menu. We are a work in process in making the transition to a local and seasonal restaurant. Please keep in mind that we have been in business since 1992 and have a base of customers that we can not just change everything at once. For example, we have to have lettuce year round even if that means buying from the west coast and Florida. If I was to take salads off my menu, we would be out of business in no time at all. Please visit our web site to find out more about what we are doing to make changes. This is a journey for us and most of our customers are being educated along the way. We have done many other things, such as educational cooking classed featuring locally produced foods, fund raising to support the Olney Farmers Market, and we just added a whole section to our wine list featuring a dozen Maryland and Virgina wines. I do not want you think that we are trying pass ourselves off as something we are not. This is not a easy thing for a restaurant to do, local food is more expensive, wind power is more expensive, eco-friendly containers and chemicals are triple the cost. We have made more than a good faith effort to make changes for a better food community and local economy. We will continue on our journey and hope to have your support. Sincerely, James Ricciuti owner and chef