Clemenza's User Reviews

2/18/10 JC: Great house salad. Skipped my company Christmas party at the county club to have a nice relaxing dinner with my husband. Love the decor!!

8/29/09 TV: My first meals at Clemenza's, in the months after they opened, were each outstanding, and I began singing the praises of this restaurant to anyone I thought didn't know about it. Sadly, my last three experiences over the course of a month have all been disappointing in one way or another. Yesterday's was the poorest meal I've had there, and did not even come up to the standards of chain Italian restaurants in the mid-valley. The three-cheese and spinach ravioli may not have come from Costco, but they sure looked and tasted like the ones I've bought there. To find them, I had to scrape off the heavy dollop of too-salty marina topped by a thick rubbery mound of melted cheese that completely hid the ravioli on the plate. My companion's pasta dish was generous but similarly heavy-handed on the sauce and salt. The service continues to be attentive without being intrusive, and the bread is excellent. We were there during what should have been the lunch rush and the place wasn't half full. I have to wonder if the quality of the food isn't responsible for the low turnout I've observed recently. I hope this is a momentary blip in their excellence, and not the beginning of a steady decline in quality. C+ [Ed Note: Here is the owner reply]: We were sorry to read this lastest review. We are not really sure what went wrong for the reviewer, the recipes have not changed since we opened. The ravioli are made for us in Portland with Northwest products to our specifications. The other pastas are imported from Italy and are the highest quality available. Salt is such a tricky thing as it is so subjective. The amount of sauce can be reducesd if a guest wishes, we tend to give what most (not the impossible "all") like. We would be happy to correct your meal to your taste if you let us know while you are dining with us. Thank you. Sincerely, Matt and Janel, owners

1/21/09 MM: My wife and I finally made it in to Clemenza's, for our anniversary. We loved the quiet atmosphere, simple and elegant decor, and friendly, prompt service. The food was very good and right on with the price. The simple wine choice of only House Red or House White was a refreshing departure from oversized and overpriced wine lists. The red was very good by the way. We are looking forward to eating at Clemenza's again. Highly Recommended.

1/11/08 MS: We dined at Clemenza's for the first time and my girlfriend and I were very pleasantly surprised. We shared a Caesar salad that was really good. It was not over or under dressed and the croutons were also great. We both ordered the smaller portions of our main entrees and had plenty of food with enough leftovers for another meal. I had spaghetti with meat sauce and meat balls. The sauce was chunky and spiced well. The meat balls were great too. I am really picky about meat balls so I rarely order them at restaurants because I am almost always disappointed. These were some of the best I have had on the west coast. The spicing was again well balanced, as were all the things we tried, and the texture was perfect. They did not appear to be simmered in red gravy (the way I make them) but were still very good. The meat balls are small, about 1.5" around, but they give you a lot of them. I checked the bill when it came because I was sure they must have given me the larger portion because the small was huge. Nope, it was the smaller portion. My girlfriend ordered veal scaloppini and raved about it. The veal was very tender. It was served with roasted vegetables and garlic dressed rigatoni. We both tried both dishes. Delicious. We split a half liter carafe of the house red that was excellent. It did not have the strong tannic flavor that some reds have. The only two criticisms we had were that the tiramisu did not have a very noticeable coffee flavor or taste of any liquor. The other thing was it would have been nice if the bread was warm. The service was great and we had no wait, but we went at 5:30 to beat the rush. We will definitely be back to what is now our favorite Italian restaurant this side of Portland.

12/20/08 SJ: Finally made it into Clemenza's for dinner. My wife, one our friends and I arrived a little after seven to a full house (okay admittedly a full small house). I like the look of the place and the wait staff is friendly if not particularly fast with the service. We ordered the house red. I had the house salad and the rigatoni Clemenza. My wife had the cannelloni and our friend had the chicken fettuccini. We shared portions and discussed the entrées, finding ourselves largely in agreement about the food. The fettuccini was a little on the bland side, but otherwise okay. The salad was a little overdressed for my taste. The rigatoni was a little hard to describe. It was okay, but didn't impress me as tasting very "fresh". I was expecting a little more tomato-y zest, particularly based on some of the earlier reviews. On the other hand, we all agreed that the cannelloni was fabulous. I heartily recommend it. As to the portions, we each ordered the smaller of the two available sizes and it was plenty. I don't understand the previous review that suggested they were too small. We shared a tiramisu for dessert and found it to be creamy, but a bit bland and lackluster. It also seemed to contain a solid layer of some kind of bread or cake, rather than a layer of individual Savoiardi. So a mixed review. I was intrigued enough that I will return and sample some of the other items on the menu. Recommended++.

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