Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Dario's

Dario's in Rockville Centre (no website that I can find) often ranks as the highest rated Italian restaurant in the Long Island Zagat's, or near the top. They even have a little display inside, on the bar, with a 27 food rating.

I don't normally care about decor, but the decor is weird. Bland off-white walls, yellowish lighting, some paintings. It looks like the cafeteria at an upscale nursing home. Though I suppose the oldies would need more light. (I can say things like that until I'm an oldy. If I live that long.)

The menu is boring. I was shocked at how boring. Not much different than a typical Long Island pizzeria menu:  chick parm or veal parm; chicken marsala or veal marsala, etc. Snooze.

I was with a group and was able to try a number of things:  stuffed clams, fried calamari, caprese salad, veal francese, gnocchi in a bolognese, and penne with a veal ragout (a special that day). Considering the place's reputation, I was expecting a great meal. It wasn't great. The food is very average.

One of the people in the group was a friend who's a smart guy and whose food opinion I respect most of the time--unless he starts talking about Indian food, which I hate. He thought the place was awful and wouldn't shut up about how awful it was. So I did like it more than he did.

The prices weren't too crazy, surprisingly. The appetizers probably averaged $8 to $12, the entrees around $20.

Giving Dario's a 27 for food is the problem with the Zagat's system, and it's the reason I don't care what Zagat's has to say about any restaurant. It's a bunch of clueless idiots voting online who don't know what they're talking about. I don't blame Dario's. They put out average food that people who vote in Zagat's think is great. They have zero incentive to make the food better.

2 out of 5 stars

13 North Village Ave.
Rockville Centre, NY


At 4:38 PM, Anonymous lettuceinlove said...

its been a long time, but I threw up from Dario's.

At 8:15 AM, Blogger James Dowd said...

Wow - I always wonder about the accuracy of Zaget's reviews. I have to admit, I have been one of the "idiot" who have contributed to their ratings. I feel sort of bad about myself now...

A lot of great meals end up being just average. I think it has a lot to do with your expectations. I find that things rarely live up to what I create in my head.

Thanks for the interesting review and perspective.



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