Tempe >Food & Dining > Caffe Boa on Mill
398 S Mill Ave Ste 110, Tempe, AZ | Directions 8528133.426837 -111.940221
Manager/Owner is an Example of How NOT to Treat a Customer – One way to judge the quality of a business establishment is how the owner/manager handles unexpected events that affect a customer. This is especially the case with a dining establishment. If something goes terribly wrong and impacts the customer, how is this handled? A quality establishment will generally bend over backwards to “right the wrong” and make sure the customer leaves satisfied. This was most definitely not the case when I went to Caffe Boa in Tempe, Arizona for New Years Eve, 2011. I had eaten there one time before and had a good experience, so suggested it to visiting relatives. Our experience was unbelievably bad. In fact it was the most outrageous dining experience I have ever had. Two visiting relatives from Minnesota and I were seated at a table inside the restaurant. They did not have a record of the reservation we had made the day before which in hindsight was the first sign of a poorly managed establishment. When I sat down I immediately felt a cold wet sensation and got up. There was a huge puddle of water on my chair and my pants were soaked through. The temperature outside was around 35 degrees, we had entered the Tempe Block party and my car was parked maybe 5 blocks away. The option of leaving to go change my clothes would have meant a 15-20 minutes walk in freezing weather with wet pants. No one at Caffe Boa expressed any concern at all about this. In fact, it took awhile to get anyone's attention at all. All I got was "sorry." I asked to see the manager and she said "sorry” and would look for a hair dryer. Meanwhile I went into the ladies room to use the wall-mounted blow-dryer attempt to dry my pants. It took over 30 minutes of holding my jeans and underwear over the dryer connected to the bathroom wall. Finally the manager came in and said "sorry, no blow dryer." I asked to see her boss who turned out to be the owner. He offered a glass of Champaign to "calm my nerves," in a quite condescending tone to boot. When I told him a decent quality dining facility would likely make a greater compensation to their customer for such an outrageous experience, he started complaining to me about how he worked so hard, didn't get to see his kids very much, etc. and now he had to deal with me, a disgruntled customer and if he paid for my meal it would come out of his pocket. It was truly unbelievable. Nor did he make any attempt at compensation for a nearly ruined New Years Eve on the coldest night of the year or ask if my clothes had been damaged by the water and dryer. The owner of Caffe Boa should be running a hot dog stand instead of a major restaurant in Tempe. I would never go to this establishment again.
Big city feel for food and wine, staff backs it up! – I am a big city girl. Lived in NYC and Chicago for many years while ending up in No Cal for my practice. This place nails the big city feel that so often lacks in the Phoenix area. The wine list is absolutely diverse with all prices and regions covered. My husband and I savored the food as they serve organic and seasonal items that rotate often. This is evident in the taste of the dishes as it shows they really care about their ingredients. This was our 3rd visit and is our favorite in the entire area here, we always crave the food. Lastly, the servers are all very professional without being "stuffy", let's say they just make you feel at home. A must visit!
Very disappointing experience – We went to Caffe Boa on a Friday evening around 7PM with some friends. The bar was busy, but the restaurant wasn't.
It's a very charming restaurant, the decor is nice. But, from there, it goes downhill. The acoustics are terrible. We couldn't hear each other talking, since there's so much noise from the bar, and there's no acoustic treatments to help out.
The award winning Wine Spectator wine list is exceptional, but just don't try to find anything below $100/bottle. Really, there are only a dozen or so bottles of several hundred that aren't priced from $150 - 500. It's extensive, but way over-priced relative to the food quality and pricing. It took 15 plus minutes to receive the bottle we ordered, and it was warm, actually warmer than even room temperature, and had to be chilled.
The staff was harried and seemed stressed, even though it just wasn't that busy. We never received bread, not a big deal, but other tables did, so it was clearly an oversight.
The menu is interesting, but literally every pasta dish has some sort of cream sauce. Not good for folks trying to eat light. The meat entrees were not much better, in terms of sauces and such.
Our caesar salad was terrible. The lettuce was dry, the dressing not particularly good.
When the pasta dishes came, it was unbelievable how much sauce was dumped on the plates. It literally looked like a bowl of red sauce with a few raviolis buried in there somewhere. I've never seen anything like it. Our friends had to scrape the sauce off to the side of their plates to get at the meal. I had the puttanesca and it was missing at least two ingredients listed on the menu, and was essentially Ragu.
I hate to be so critical, but at the prices these guys are charging, the food should be better than this. Maybe it was a bad night for the kitchen. But, if you're choosing between this place and another upscale Italian restaurant, choose the other.
Great Food and Wine All Around! – The server was extremely versed on the by the glass list and helped make our night perfect! The food is mostly handmade, all the pastas, raviolis and even the sausages. We truly had a great experience with perfect service. The owner was always around and even helped with our bottle of wine that we never would have thought about. Highly suggest this place for a destination. They have the best of standards and don't charge the 5 star prices.
Fabulous! – This little Italian restaurant is the best, the food is incredible and the atmosphere is the greatest....highly recommended!!
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