Tucson >Food & Dining > Caruso's Restaurant
434 N 4th Ave, Tucson, AZ | Directions 8570532.227407 -110.965481
Mon. CLOSED;Tue. - Thu., Sun. 11:30am - 10pm;Fri. - Sat. 11:30am - 11pm
Neighborhoods: Ward 6
I do not know who all the yahoos, that slam this restaurant are, but you are so wrong. Yes, the place is always packed, its near the University. It is also near The TCC. It is a Tucson Restaurant, that I have visited over a 14 year period, how many other restaurants, can boast this? Everything is fresh, they grow their own herbs, they make pomegranate sorbet seasonally, the staff is always pleasant, a wonderful, wonderful, patio area for dining. If you're not really sure what southern Italian dining is, then perhaps not try some of the northern items, that are on the menu. Southern is red sauces parmagiana, pasta, pizza, gnocchis, cannelloni, manicotti, lasagna, or spaghetti. Its like ordering fish in a specialty barbecue house. Well duh, they might have a fish item but I wouldnt order it. This restaurant gets 4 stars from me. Longevity, classic southern Italian, a family environment, whith that real old world feel.
NO MORE REFERRAL FROM MY HOTEL ANYMORE – I refuse to send anymore guests here given the complaints this place has been receiving. The most sad part is that it's right on a "tourist spot" of town, and one would think that the service would be ROCKING!!!! Unless the service improves I'm not recommending this place at all!!
Worst Italian Food Ever ! – My husband and I had been having a wonderful day out on the town when we finally got hungry. We decided to give Caruso's a try. Bad mistake. After we got seated we waited about 10 minutes before the waitress even asked what we wanted to drink. She came back about 20 minutes later with what I thought should have been lemonade but turned out to be lemon water, and a basket of "garlic bread", if thats what you want to call it. It was 3 little pieces of burnt, cold, hard bread in a basket. We only got one refill the whole time we waited for our meal, so our glasses were empty pretty much the whole time. When we finally got our meal about an hour later, the food was only lukewarm and had no flavor, accept maybe like a cheap tv dinner. And my salad had HAIR in it. When I told this to our waitress she only laughed at me.When it finally came time to leave they could not get us out of there fast enough. So we paid $30 plus tax for the worst meal ever. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY AT CARUSO'S !!!
Some Birthday – My brother and his wife took me here for my birthday. It looked really nice. But it took over an hour to get our food after we ordered. We would have just left after waiting so long, but the manager said it would be out soon. So we waited another 45 minutes. My food wasn't too bad and neither was my brother's, but my sister-in-law's food was still RAW! Not a little under cooked but RAW! It was so gross! We just left and got some sandwiches from egees.
Absolutely terrible – This was easily the WORST Italian food I have ever eaten in my life. Here is basically how the evening unfolded:
Seated at 5:30. Order some drinks and food. The food took approximately 45 minutes to come out and we had our drinks refilled exactly once the entire time. Keep in mind the glasses here are at most half the size of a normal restaurant.
Already annoyed with the wait, the disgusting food arrives. I ordered a seafood dish with a garlic wine sauce. They apparently think that imitation crab is seafood and that a garlic wine sauce should look like custard. The dish looked like something out of a TV dinner box.
I decided to give them one last attempt to redeem themselves and ordered a cannoli. The pastry shell tasted like cardboard and was mushy. The ricotta inside was not sweet whatsoever, and they decided to dress it up with some liqueur which just made it taste worse.
If you want decent Italian, do not visit this restaurant.
Horrible 1st Anniversary Dinner – My husband and I went to Caruso’s for dinner for the first time as our 1st Anniversary dinner. We were seated at 7:57 PM and our server brought us our drinks after only a short wait, he took our order and garlic bread quickly followed. We waited about 30 minutes, then started wondering where our dinner was. Our glasses had long run dry, and while the server walked by our table many times, our drinks were never filled and we could not grab his attention.
At 9:00 PM, I asked the hostess what time we were seated, and she informed me that it was at 7:57 PM. I asked her how long it normally takes for meals to arrive, and she stated that it takes approximately 20 minutes unless the kitchen gets backed up, but that it should not take as long as we had waited. She informed someone of the situation, and in about 5 minutes the server was at our table apologizing. He let us know that he had ‘clipped’ our ticket over with a completed order and had not turned it in to the kitchen. He then began to only address my husband as ‘Sir’ and avoided talking to me, and assured my husband that our meals would be out in less than 10 minutes. He then offered us dessert “on him, not on the house” which he made sure to tell us about 3 times that he was paying for it and not Caruso’s.
When our meal arrived, my husband’s small helping was obviously very warm as it was steaming, but my six ravioli’s were only lukewarm. Since we had waited so long for our dinner, I ate half of mine then boxed the rest to take it home. My husband's meal was disappointingly small, compared to the plates on the tables around us. I’m not sure how large the portions at Caruso’s are supposed to be.
We paid full price for two mediocre LATE meals and no manager, supervisor, owner, etc. came to discuss any of this with us. I emailed the owner about this experience two days ago and have yet to receive any response. This entire experience was unacceptable, and we will not be back.
Thank you Caruso's, for ruining our 1st Anniversary dinner.
I worked at this restaurant for many years and loved there food its been since 2005 that i have worked and eaten here and am sad to hear that so many people have had a bad time, I have just spoken to the manger while I was reading these reviews and he too was sad to hear the news but very happy that I am online writting this...
I would ask that you have not given it a second chance already then please due so I am wondering if anyone remembers any of the servers names that served them those night or what they looked like I knew everyone there at one time and know who the best servers are or somewhat good ones if anyone is going to the restarurant soon i would suggest asking for elke, johnny, ryan, kelly, jeff even will if any of these servers are still there tell them Sarah sent you to them lol and that i miss them all I worked there from FEB 2003- Augs 2005 I only left due to a deadly illness and the death of my father..... OTHER than all that I LOVE the Caruso's and Sal Zagona is a great man was a wonderful boss and the family is great also!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Should have never given it a second chance – The first time I went to Caruso's was a couple of years ago to attend a graduation party. I don't remember exactly what I ordered back then, but I believe it was a red sauce pasta dish of some sort. Having been familiar with great Italian food (from cooking it, spending time in Italy, and eating at other good restaurants around the country) I was disappointed with my first visit. The red sauce tasted like it came out of a Chef-boy-R-D jar. I could not understand the hype that this place generated.
Last night, a friend wanted to try Caruso's out, as she had never been before. I was hesitant at first, remembering my first experience. But I thought, "What the heck I'll give it another shot". I had heard great things about their pizza. I thought maybe that's the reason people come in droves and not so much for their pasta.
After receiving poor service and waiting 40 minutes for our food, my pizza arrived. I looked down at a blackened and burnt crust and an extremely greasy and oily topping. It didn't look appetizing and all of my hopes quickly faded away. I was so hungry however, that I took a bite. I had been craving pizza for hours after all.
I was shocked. After waiting 40 minutes for a pizza, they couldn't even cook the darn thing right. My pizza dough was extremely undercooked...chewy, runny, and doughy. I took my fork and pushed aside the oily cheese topping to reveal a translucent, runny dough.
I quickly sent the pizza back. Server was unapologetic and wanted to replace my pizza with "something that was quick and easy. Yeah? Well what if I didn't want quick and easy? I decided on the Carbonera. If you are familiar with Carbonera than you know it's a white sauce dish with bacon and sometimes eggs. White sauce was extremely bland. I kept shaking parmesan cheese over it, hoping it would taste better and mask the blandness. The bacon did not taste like bacon but more like Baconbits!
What more can I say about this place? First time was blah, second time was even worse. Will never go back.
Little Water Glasses, Little Pizzas, BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. – The Wait:
The wait for Caruso's was about 25 minutes....something at the time I was expecting to be "worth the wait" since there were plenty others waiting too. When we got called to be seated, we went up to the hostess stand, where they looked at me and my friend like we weren't suppose to be there. The woman who took us to our table just started walking, did not inform us that we should follow her and had a snooty look on her face when we weren't there when she turned around to put the menus on the table.
Our waiter took about 10 minutes to even acknowledge us, and when he finally made it around to our table after walking past us about a thousand times, he acted rushed and almost inconvenienced that we were there, getting in the way of his 10 top table behind us. The best part of the service was actually a woman, I assume she was the busser, who was very attentive to all the tables all over the restaurant...she should have been our server. Our server basically ignored us all night, there was no "the food will be out soon" or anything like that.
Aside from the fact that the drink glasses were the smallest I have ever seen in my entire life, the food was another big disappointment. Firstly, it took about 30 minutes for our food to come out...you think that would have been ample time for them not to mess it up...mm nope. When our food came out, the pizza my friend ordered was severely undercooked, completely inedible. You would think for a pizza joint they would know at least how long to cook something. The server, in his usual manner act less than apologetic and she ended up getting something else. No manager came over, no food was comped...nothing.
ALL In ALL, I would never go back there. Obviously the front of the house is dismal, and so is the back of the house. Either there is no organization, they were having a bad night or they don't kind keeping expectations low. Either way, I won't be going back to find out.
WE always have a great time @ Caruso's and love to sit outside, great service, great food, love it! – We always have a great time @ Caruso's and love to sit outside, great service, great food, love it!
Last time, we sat outside and it was the perfect weather. The waitress was so sweet and the best yet.
The food was as fantastic as the first time I went. Love their wine too!
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