I wouldnt usually write about chain restaurants but, for a chain Italian, I thought this was pretty good. It’s main appeal on the evening we ate there was that it was adjacent to the hotel where we were staying and, after a long day’s touristing, it was good just to stroll across the car parks.
The menu manages to be reasonably comprehensive without resorting to the pages of pasta and pizza that you see all too often . There is, of course, pasta and pizza and we went with both of them. There was rigatoni with luganega – a generous portion with enough chunks of the fennel flavoured sausage to satisfy. A touch of cream softened the meaty sauce.
Across the table, the interpretation of pizza putanesca brought toppings of sliced tomato, artichoke, olives and capers. And the toppings were the best bits. The base was overly doughy and would have been much improved if it had been thinner and crisper.
Desserts were a game of two halves. Roasted apples, plums and strawberries came with a cinnamon flavoured syrup and vanilla ice cream. By any standard, this was excellent, with the roasting really intensifying the flavours of the fruits. On the other hand , an apple and walnut crisp didn’t work too well. There was a good topping but the apple was overpowered by a heavy use of cinnamon. Now, I’ll be the first to accept that I am not cinnamon’s greatest fan but it really was all-pervading.