For anyone passing through Manchester on Route 293 south, you may have noticed a building under construction that could be seen from the highway. There is also a large sign visible in the distance with the name Giorgio's, the third and newest location for this Mediterranean/Italian restaurant chain. Always on the lookout for something different it had been at least 10 years since our last visit to the Giorgio's in Merrimack. Having just recently opened it was time to see how they are doing present day in Manchester.
Upon entry the restaurant is smaller than it appears from the outside. They went with an open kitchen concept along with a large number of tables and a smattering of booths. Surprisingly on a Friday night it was eerily quiet, even our waitress indicated that business had been slow since their opening a week before. Not a particular good sign although it could have been that they did not do an advertising push preferring to keep things slower in the beginning.
The menu has Greek and Italian fare and compared to some we have seen is not as large in scope and that is fine just make sure everything is top notch. Our beginning selection was their Sicilian arancini, one of our favorite appetizers when made well.
At a cost of $10, this was two small rice balls with very little meat filling and a pasty dry texture. Not our vision of what the ideal should be.
My entree selection was chicken marsala which I hoped would be a safe bet after the disappointing appetizer.
The chicken had a rubbery consistency as if it had been boiled instead of sautéed properly. A watery bland sauce that had no Marsala flavor did not improve anything making this an entree you should skip.
Butternut squash ravioli was my wife's pick.
Having asked the waitress what she recommended, my wife was surprised to hear her talk about what people order rather than what she enjoyed. We felt as if the waitress hadn’t sampled any of the menu items. So, since the ravioli seemed like a popular item, she went with that and was terribly disappointed. The dish lacked flavor of any kind.
The kitchen was extremely disorganized, several times servers and runners came to our table asking if a particular food item was ours and it was not having no idea its destination. Additionally, there was no visible checking of food as it went out of the back of the house and this may have contributed to the problem. A manager could be seen walking around but no one ever stopped by to ask about our meal, if they had we would have let them know of our trouble.
Unfortunately the service was no better than the food on this night. Water glasses left unfilled, no review of specials and a general feeling of being forgotten. Our waitress was also busing her own tables which may have contributed to the lack of efficiency.
It is evident that Giorgio's should have waited to open their new restaurant. This may seem harsh and especially after they have only been open for a week but we would rather give them the reality of our experience. Then the problems can be fixed sooner rather than later resulting in fewer customers who may be lost to Giorgio's forever.
270 Granite Street
Manchester, NH 03102