With memories of innovative and well-prepared Italian food we were easily lured back to Pontini. Sadly, such memories are to be left as just that. On our visit there was no charming Italian maître d’ or inspired daily specials. Instead, we were greeted by brusque service, dried out bread for a zestless pesto dip, a menu fattened with standard Italian fare, and the dull buzz of a hotel coffee shop. Unperturbed, we ordered the seafood soup, which came with fresh seafood but a thin tomato-based soup. The beef carpaccio was of high quality, although the black truffles and four fava beans featured sparely. We were impressed by the presentation of the scallops wrapped in parma ham with sage butter and pumpkin sauce. In comparison to the scallops, the slow braised beef short ribs with Barolo wine sauce and porcini mushrooms with potato puree was a messy mass. Unfortunately this dish sounded better than it looked and tasted, some ribs were moist and tender, others were dry and slightly bitter. We ended the meal with panna cotta with mixed berries and raspberry coulis. At last, unreserved compliments to the chef for a delicate and creamy treat. Pontini still serves reasonable fare, but not the great highlights it was once known for.