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Jeff Lindsay is an author of Conquering Innovation Fatigue. See InnovationFatigue.com for more info.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

 

Wild Truffle Pizzeria: I Don't Recommend It for Groups

A group of high-school students went to Wild Truffle Pizzeria last night for dinner. In making reservations for the group, they were told that there would be a minimum order of $15 per person for the food. When they got there and were seated, THEN they were told that the minimum order was $20. For a pizzeria! That pretty much forces people to order more than just a main course, and was a potentially painful surprise to people using cash who might not have had enough.

Wild Truffle Pizzeria is styling itself as a classy gourmet place, but forcing people to spend a lot isn't classy at all. When I went there, two of us had more than we could eat for about $15 a person, and I would have preferred just ordering one $15 pizza for two instead. Forcing people to buy $20 of food per person - more than most people could eat - is not just unkind, it's unhealthy and wasteful.

On the other hand, I can understand the concerns of management worried about a large number of customers who won't be purchasing liquor, a major source of income for restaurants. Perhaps they should simply not take reservations for high-school groups or groups greater than, say, 10 people.

If you're in a group, I recommend eating elsewhere.
Comments:
I was at Wild Truffle last night and got bumped to a shafty seat by this group. My post here: http://aservingoflife.com/2009/10/11/date-night/
 
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I went to Wild Truffle last week and was very delighted with my experience. I am not sure about the other posts on here, and don't know if they were just having a bad day, but my husband and I enjoyed every bit of our meal. It was rather busy, we did not make reservations, and had to wait with a glass of wine up front, but the service was great and the food was great. I think they are just working the bumps out of the road. When I talked to the owner he indicated that they were at one point to put in a waiting area and a bar, but they cant rent the extra space. I have to give this place props due to the fact that they are giving our area a more cultured dining experience and making sure that guests are taken care of, even though they don't have the room to wait. I will make reservations next time. We will be visiting again!
 
I just can't believe that they would charge a minimum for HIGH SCHOOL students! Do they want the kids to steal their parent's wallet?
They are kids, no they aren't going to spend a lot, but bad word travels fast.
 
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Like Jill said, bad word travels fast. It is unheard of to force people to purchase food in a certain amount. It would have been best to leave right then and there. They do not deserve any business, new place or not. What a nonsense! I bet the Fox Valley has enough other places to dine instead.
 
Went and loved it! Was happy with the food, the menu, the service, and (especially) the dessert.

Would definitely go back and would recommend it.
 
You really have a awesome blog.

Thanks for the amazing food blog. You should share it with the bizymoms Appleton community
 
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You're joking, right? They were told when making reservations that it would be $15 a head, yet - reservations were made anyway?
I went with a friend to Wild Truffle once. The service was outstanding, the food very good, but overpriced. Is that what some define "culture" as?
I'm surprised at the vile comments left on this board. I can't imagine what the "deleted" post said.
I've always enjoyed this blog, but if these derogatory comments are what we can expect in the future, I think I'll look elsewhere for restaurant recommendations.
 
No joke. The kids's story is that they were told $15 minimum on the phone, which sounded bad but they guessed they could handle it - but when they were at the restaurant, they were then told $20. For kids relying on cash, prepared for $15 meals, the jump in the minimum was a painful surprise.

I just deleted another offensive comment that slipped by me - sorry about that.
 
Have been to Wild Truffle twice and each time the food , and service was outstanding . It is about time this area gets some classy restaurants instead of all the run of the mill franchises that line the streets . This is a up and coming area with educated people that deserve a " nice " classy place to eat . Keep up the good work ' Wild Truffle "........see you tonight ..YUM !
 
Bad experience x2
Twice we called on a Friday afternoon to make reservations. Both times the answering machine answered and 'promised' a return call. About 5:00 we called to see if they got our message and BOTH TIMES they said they had been busy...and that they were full for the night. THAT KIND OF "SERVICE" SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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In response to the story about the high school kids being told there was a minimum charge.....Many restaurants have a minimum for large parties, this is nothing out of the ordinary. And i remember from the few years that i used to work in restaurants back in college, that homecoming parties were notorious for taking up 20 seats in the building, drinking nothing but water, ordering the least expensive items and sharing them between 2 or 3 of them, for an average stay of 90 minutes to two hours. When that happens, do you guys realize how much money that restaurant loses? Plus the added bonus that high school age kids typically are not very good tippers. I think that by setting up a minimum was pretty smart buisness sense, although i will admit, changing the minimum to $20 upon arrival was in poor taste, but that could've been a breakdown in communication.
 
My husband and I tried to eat at Wild Truffle in Appleton and were treated to a screaming baby at a nearby table. Note that this was not a toddler, but an infant who was brought to a small, one-room restaurant where the tab for two could be $100. When we noted this to the pissiest host I've ever encountered, we were told in a very snotty tone that the baby was a customer. Before we had even ordered, the baby howled so loudly we decided to leave. I noted to the mother that expensive restaurants are not the right place for babies and a babysitter would have been appropriate. When we were nearing our car, PH (Pissy Host) burst out the door, yelling that we had no right to say anything to the mother, which we disagreed with since he hadn't said anything to her. We told him we would not return and would rather patronize expensive places like Seasons or Flannigans where such things wouldn't happen. We said we would blog this so others would know. He looked terrified then, and said we should have "said something" to him about the baby. We both yelled in unison, "WE DID!" He then said, "um, well, you can't come back." We just laughed at him and said, "We already covered that base; we'll never be back." We went to Seasons and had a fantastic dinner with other adults. Look, we don't dislike babies or kids (my husband is a teacher), it's just that at this price tag, you have the right to expect a certain atmosphere, AKA "no screaming babies."
There are 738 other Fox Valley eateries where you expect kids and babies to be present, and we would never complain there, but come on, when you dine at a high priced place you should be able to expect a screamless environment. And pissy host, drop the attitude; you're only a greeter. We advise fellow diners to skip "Wild Truffle" until they rename it, "Child Sniffle."
 
I am the mother of the baby that was "howling" and totally have to disagree with the above post. We were greeted by the same host, who was very nice and seated us in a timely manner. About five minutes after arriving, he seated the above blogger and her husband at the bar a short distance from our table. Two minutes later, the lady approached me, yelling at me that I was rude and should not bring my baby into a nice restaurant. Mind you it was my husband, mother and father, and myself at the table. She made me feel very embarrassed as my child had done nothing and she was very loud in stating that she did not like the fact that I had brought my child. The host came to our table and apologized, after they yelled at him I am sure. He did not deserve to be treated in such a manner, he was very nice. We had a great meal and everything was perfect. I am not sure about the $100 meal, we all ate for under $100, and we had four adults! I think that this customer was just having a bad day. I know I would never personally approach a table and yell at them! Wild Truffle - keep up the good work, and to the poor host, keep smiling! You do an amazing job!
 
Upscale-pizza, seems like an oxymoron but it's not at Wild Truffle. Who said that pizza must be a soggy pile of sugary 'pizza sauce', a half inch of ultra greasy cheese, unevenly cooked toppings lit by televisions playing the latest college basketball games accompanied by a crowd of buzzed, chain smokers clinking their tall-boys of Bud-Light.
I've been here several times since they've opened this past summer and it's always busy, make sure you make reservations if you've got more than 2 guests in your party. I think they can accommodate groups up to 8.
The restaurant itself is small (seating for 40) with a patio that is open during the warmer months. The wood fired oven is the unavoidable focal point making the restaurant feel warm in temperature and atmosphere. The attentive waitstaff is uniquely uniformed in brown chef's coats.
Try to get a seat at the bar if possible. Catching all the action around the wood fired oven is a definite part of the experience at Wild Truffle. Their pizza's are the absolute best that the Midwest has to offer. They are unlike any other 'wood-fired pizza' that all the other upscale places in the area have to offer. The crusts are dynamic; crusty yet perfectly chewy on the inside, thin yet hold up to being picked up to be eaten by hand. They must be eaten hot out of the oven though. And don't be a child, enjoy the crust without a dipping sauce!
I had a chance to chat with the owner about his pizza's and found out that a ton of research and development went into the dough and the process of cooking each individual pie. A very interesting secret dough recipe involving multiple types of flours imported from Italy create the perfect dough for a a wood fired pizza. If you watch carefully (while sitting at the bar) you'll notice that the pizzas are cooked in steps so all of the toppings are at the correct level of doneness on the final product. This allows the diner to enjoy each part of the pie at it's peak level of flavour production.
Personally, I highly recommend the Fresh Spinach and Roasted Artichoke Pizza (a perfect balance of flavours and textures) or the Wild Truffle Pizza(a luxuriously rich pizza with so much depth) since I am a vegetarian.
 
In any event, it's actually Wild Truffle that caused this problem. We saw the slick website and heard it was a tony place where you would need to drop some cash if you got a nice bottle. It needs to clarify its identity. It's in fact a TINY place with no waiting area. The issue is that it that wants to have it both ways: be an upscale Zagat-rated restaurant, but still allow crying infants. Just figure it out so all of us can adjust our expectations. My vote is make it another Appleton family joint, because apparently today's young parents have such a huge sense of entitlement they will drag their newborns to any place and get huffy if someone calls them out on it.
 
We've been there 4 times and the service and food were outstanding each time. One of the best restaurants in Appleton, and certainly in my top 20 anywhere.

Definitely not a restaurant for children of any age, and the prices put it at the top of the chart for the Fox Valley. Even so, if you're used to "big city" prices, you'll think it's pretty inexpensive.

Get reservations and/or arrive right when they open, or you'll get to wait standing up, which is possibly the only real drawback to the location.
 
Our group of five ate at The Wild Truffle last night, without reservations, and encountered no problems whatsoever. We were seated immediately, the hostess was very polite, our server was great, the food was to die for and I highly recommend this restaurant. I would definitely return to this establishment. The risotto was out of this world! I tried my friend's butternut squash ravioli, also excellent. Great food!
 
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I went to Wild Truffle last night with a couple girlfriends and had the worse experience I have had dining in the Fox Valley in a long time. We had a reservation for 7:30, and had to wait until almost 8:00 to be seated. I am from Green Bay, and whenever I have made reservations at other places, we are seated at the time we made our reservation for. The hostess was very rude and unprofessional, and our server forgot to place our order for appetizers, so we gout our dinner and our appetizers together. I was so embarrassed! The server even made us pay for the appetizers! I will never go back to Wild Truffle! They should have all the issues worked out by now... no excuse for such poor service!
 
Wild Truffle is perfection! Even the macaroni and cheese is to die for (which hubby brought home one night). The one time we ate there we were looking for something 'light' and ended up with apps, salads, pizza and shared a dessert. Can't wait to go back!
 
I have been to Wild Truffle and loved it. We did not have reservations and were seated right away. Our server was sensational and the food was wonderful, yet pricey. I would consider it "up scale" for the area and I feel no children should be allowed. My husband and I went to celebrate our anniversary and thankfully there were no screaming children... there were none at all. I would definitely go back.
 
I have always had great service and delicious food at Wild Truffle. I have been there over a dozen times to dine and tried many different dishes each flavored to perfection. The culiary skills and backgrounds of the chefs are very impressive if you get a chance to speak with them! They have recently added on an addition to the restaurant and a wine bar which make it much easier to get in. If it's full and there is a wait every weekend that would imply great food. I have also gone with a friend and her child, and her child loved the food and was not made to order her own dish! To say that a child doesn't belong in a restaurant is the silliest thing I have heard of. There is nothing wrong with children tasting different things they wouldn't receive at home. I have brought my own children to places like The Seasons. I have gone and shared a pizza with a friend and not been made to order a set amount.
 
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We have been to Wild Truffle many times since they opened (most recently on 7/31), we have never had poor service or to wait for our table if we made a reservation. Never had a bad meal! We have had wonderful conversations with the owner. It has become our place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and take out of town guests. Keep up the wonderful job! New wine bar is a great addition and the prices are very reasonable.
 
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I have had great experiences at the Wild Truffle. Food, staff, service, etc...every person has different experiences and definitely different moods...leave allowances a little for a new business and if you want to be so petty and particular stay home and make your own food. Especially the lady that has baby issues...I never take my child out to restaurants but don't criticize others...they have just as much right as you! And your husband being a teacher doesn't mean you don't have baby issues. you sound like a snob and had NO RIGHT approaching the mother, if you don't like it then leave like you did with a little more dignity!
 
Something is in the air at this place and I think I put my finger on it………….

pom·pous // (pmps) adj. 1. Characterized by excessive self-esteem or exaggerated dignity; pretentious: pompous officials who enjoy giving orders. 2. Full of high-sounding phrases; bombastic: a pompous proclamation. 3. characterized by pomp or stately display; ceremonious: a pompous occasion.

yeah, yeah that’s the ticket.

I did love this place but have grown to dislike eating here, not just for the newer priced food but the over-the-top we think we are something we are not service, sheesh!! you are in Appleton WISCONSIN, not NY or LA.

Oh and the $8.50 sweet italian sausage sandwich that I had was over cooked and had a whole whopping tablespoon of sausage in it and was pretty lame. Would it have killed ya to put maybe a whole sausage in it not just those three or four bits of sausage? Oh yeah, tax on beer? really??? every other place I have been tax is included in the price of the beer, not here kiddies!

Rant over. Make sure you get a reservation on friday or saturday to go here or lest ye be banished to the bar or outside while you sit and stare at the open tables during the entire time you eat.
 
Definately the most over-rated restaurant in the Fox Valley. If the yuppy crowd considers this upscale it's only because the must enjoy it's "ordinary" food at high pricing.
 
For those of you impressed with the owners story of using imported flours from Italy....one must realize that the US is a large exporter of flour to this region. While it makes for a good story, buying flour grown in the USA through an importer doesn't make a better crust. I'm not saying that his crust isn't good but it isn't the best.
 
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I found this blog doing research on the Wild Truffle for a job posting that they have on the internet. For all the negative posts on here, it sounds like they are very very inexperienced with going out. I have owned a restaurant and cant imagine a costumer telling another to not bring a child to a restaurant. That is really rude!!!! And if you make a reservation on Friday afternoon for Friday evening....you need to plan better. Restaurants do most of there volume on the weekends and short notice reservations are hard to accomidate. If an owner has to pay sales tax on an item then why is taxing after hard to swallow.

I hope that the Wild Truffle keeps on doing there best and makes it. I hope more positive posts end up on the blog and people who dont like others shuld stay at home!!!
 
The anonymous blog on Feb 3rd is a shining example of what's happened to this country. This guy claims he was a restaurant owner, and spelled the word "should" as "shud." Enough said.
 
I lived by Wild Truffle when they first opened. Loved the food, worst service ever even with take always got screwed up. The owner walking around to each table braging was annoying. I am coming back to the area & though about stopping there, but by the comments not much has changed. Mark I really hoped you would take some of the suggestions people offered.
 
where is that wild truffle? i like to go there too,
www.5starstudio.com
 
I have frequented the Truffle many time since it opened. I have it say, that until aroun May 2011' the crust of the pizzas was inconsistency, sometimes tough and often over cooked. This past summer, it was ver good, tender, golden and wonderful, as was the entire pizza. Other entrees wee better balanced and the atmosphere was more friendly . However, I have been ther twice in the last two months and whatever gains were made up to September have completely disappeared. The food and service are once again inconsistent and the atmosphere is almost toxic. It seems as if no one is happy in their job and the owner continues his arrogant attitude. I am done. I shall not return to this over priced over hyped place
 
Check this out about the owner!
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011310260021
 
the whole minimum for purchasing food is bulllll! i work there and there is no such thing for ornery customers to post. just trying to give us a bad name..ok grow and and eat else where! best quality food in the area by far!
 
i've read all the posts on here and i've decided to not eat here...albeit the food and service testimonials promote a mostly positive experience, at higher prices i won't risk having a negative one. too many strikes for Truffles, this batter's out!
 
We eat there at least 3-6 times a month. The ingredients in all the dishes are very expensive so I don't mind paying the higher prices. There isn't any place in Wisconsin that has food that tastes as good as this place. I have loved every dish I had there and have always had the best service. If you eat at McDonalds or Olive Garden this place isn't for you because it definitely isn't blah or greasy.
 
If there is a need for a vehicle, either for private or business use, try https://www.truck1.eu/ for searching. Hundreds of dealers from there ship around the world and offer various options of delivery terms.
 
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