i'm a five-year renton resident and i've been to armondos about three times. the first time i went there my friend and i had an early dinner of sorts. i think we both ordered fettuccini alfredo with chicken and the calamari steak. the service at best was so-so, the server was friendly but seems very detached and almost bored with her job.
my friend and i picked on our food wondering what was wrong with it. it wasn't overcooked, undercooked, salty, nothing really, and then we realized that's what's missing: it was just bland. my friend is not a food snob unlike myself but she returned her pasta because she just didn't like it. they gave her a new one with some random herbs thrown in (closely following her directions, because she's a good cook as well), she took a few bites on her new plate and it was the same thing. i tasted her plate and we both said the same thing: "it needs oomph!"
i've never had calamari steak before and i probably never will again. i just didn't like it, i wasn't sure if it was because of how armondo's prepared it or maybe it's just me but i just didn't like it.
round 2: i went to armondo's myself. i stood at the hostess table for about 15 minutes. i finally sat myself and a server went to my table. i apologized for sitting myself and she promptly ignored me and plopped a menu on my table. i can't remember what i ordered and i usually have a pretty good memory for those things and i think the reason why i don't remember it's because it was so forgettable...
round 3: i visited armondo's this afternoon (in their new location), it just felt like it was time to do so. once again i stood in front of the hostess table for about 5 minutes. a server sat me in her section and before i even completely sat down she asked me what i wanted to drink. i've been waiting tables myself for about 3 years now and i usually wait for my guests to get settled in before i ask them anything. i asked for water and 2 mins later she came back asking for my order. i just felt like i was being rushed or maybe i'm just having a bad day, i don't know. i ordered the seafood fettuccini which comes with a soup or salad. i asked for the minestrone soup and it was so delicious. the bread basket is paired with 3 different types of star-shaped butter, it was a nice touch but the bread tasted stale.
lunch is cheaper here so my seafood pasta was only about $9. it really was very good, a good amount of mussels, scallops, prawns and calamari were thrown in but sadly not enough pasta. it's served on a basil cream sauce which was wonderful but after a few bites it just weighs heavily on you. nevertheless i was happy with my food.
i left armondo's not fully convinced yet they'll sure to see me back at some point in the next few months.
PS: i worked at gene's ristorante (in renton) for a few months 5 years ago and i have to say nobody has been able to fill the void they left in the italian food industry in renton...