I’d always hope that the food at an independently owned Italian restaurant would be better than the chains – like Ask and Piccolino. And usually it is. But, I’m afraid to say, not here. Rather a shame, as this new place is very close to home.
I like the way the conversion of the building has been done. And service was pretty good. That said, when there’s only one table occupied, you’d expect service to be pretty good.
A tomato bruschetta was much as you’d expect in northern Europe in December. Decent crisp bread but the tomatoes were under ripe. And straight out the fridge so whatever taste they might have had was pretty much destroyed. Yep, a bit of a mistake ordering it.
Frito misto was decent. Some salad leaves, topped with whitebait and squid rings with a blob of mayo on the side. Now, on first bite of the squid, there was a pleasant crunch from the very crisp batter. But the squid itself was chewy. I’d risk a fiver that this was frozen battered squid rather than anything freshly made from scratch in the kitchen ( I first posted this review on a local board and the site owners assured me that I had lost my bet. Well, even though I remain absolutely gob-smacked that this wasnt frozen, the fiver has winged its way to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for East Africa).
A vegetable pizza came without its advertised black olives and cherry tomatoes. They would have perked up an otherwise quite boring offering. An accompanying salad was OK but had no dressing, nor was oil and vinegar brought until we asked for it.
Penne diavolo was fine but nothing to shout from the rooftops about. Al dente pasta and a creamy sauce with a few chunks of spicy salami stirred through. There was, shall we say, a lack of generosity in the portion size of both pasta and sauce. At approaching nine quid, it must be a great profit maker.
We finished with coffee. It would have been nice if these had been served with sugar and a spoon, without us having to ask for them.