Il Giardino della Galla -- Don't Think About Eating Here

Do not think about eating at the Giardino della Galla.

The food is very bad. The service is very bad.

They pulled a "bait and switch" on the wine.

We had spent the day driving from Florence to Ravenna to Urbino. We had spent hours exploring the wonders of Ravenna, and when we got to Urbino we were exhausted and starving.

We chose the Giardino della Galla because it was well recommended on TripAdvisor and it was the only restaurant in Urbino recommended by our 2012 Michelin Red Guide.

We ordered several "local specialties" for antipasti. Each was worse than the one before. The carpaggio was a stingy mess of bad-quality meat drowning in vinegar. There was some greasy fried bread and a warm cheese that had separated into oil and goo.

My wife had lamb chops that were simply too tough to eat, and my son and I had overcooked and boring pasta. Mine was supposedly with duck, which tasted nothing at all like duck.

What really got me was the bait and switch on the wine. The menu offered Tenuta Argentiera, Poggio ai Ginepri Bolgheri, a wine I know and find quite drinkable. When the waitress brought the wine, she did not show me the label. I made the mistake of not asking to see it when she poured me a bit to taste -- while standing on the opposite side of the table and holding the bottle so I could not see it. The one taste I had wasn't terrible, so I accepted it. Then I saw it was not what I had ordered. I asked the waitress to see the menu again, and I pointed out that the wine they served us wasn't the wine on the menu. She said she would ask whoever was in charge. She came back and assured me that the price of the wines was the same, so I shouldn't worry. I told her the price might be the same, but the wines were not. She shrugged her shoulders, and I got billed for the wine.