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“Great food & service” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Italian Bar & Grill

The Italian Bar & Grill
Ranked #54 of 634 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, American, Bar, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Cheap Eats, Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Kids, Business meetings, Bar Scene
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: The Italian Bar and Grill. Excellent New York style eaterie - combining a great bar with unfussy but stylish restaurant. The well-travelled patrons know good food - and you can be sure that everything is cooked fresh on the premises. If you can find a better rack of ribs this side of the state then let us know! Good quality, local, non-chain store restaurants can be hard to find. Relax, you've found one.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Great food & service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2014

My partner and I have been eating at the Italian Bar for the last couple of years. We quite often visit for a bit of lunch on a Sunday with our 2 year old son.

The food is excellent. A wide range to choose from Pasta/Pizza/Burgers/Steaks etc... The menu is big but that's great for us because we can have something different each time.

The pulled pork is great and the seafood stew is a favorite of my partners. It's great to be able to get a fresh, healthy dish for our son too instead of the usual chips with everything.

The atmosphere is relaxed, which we really like and the staff are fantastic. It's normally always busy when we're there and we never wait for more than a couple of minutes and service is always with a smile.

You can see the owner has a real passion for this place, which is great to see....

We'll be back soon!

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Kports1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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297 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
“Great food!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2014 via mobile

Great food, friendly stuff!
Two things:
Served desert with large and heavy spoon which I didn't like.
I've ordered a glass of white wine but on the bottom of the glass there were traces from red wine-bad dishwasher I guess..
Anyhow great place and food! Do recommend!

Helpful?
Thank Violeta H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Awful Service”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2014

My first visit last night and my last, the service was appalling, had to wait half hour just to get a drink, all the staff just gathered round the bar chatting, they were very rude and unhelpful it makes me think all these people out of work and that's all the staff they can offer, the owner should really take a look at replacing the staff, appalling behavior I was stuck for words.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Declan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steve N, owner / head chef / manager at The Italian Bar & Grill, responded to this review, 26 February 2014
What a load of rubbish, it`s unbelievable what some people can get away with writing!
(& there`s nothing anyone can do about it!?!?)
You did not wait half an hour for a drink, maybe 10 minutes (which is still too long I admit) the waitresses were definitely not rude & one of them even spent 5 minutes explaining the starters to you & helping you decided what to choose.
The `staff gathered round the bar` were working & I have no intention of replacing any of them.
I don`t know what you & your friend (the only other 1/5 review we`ve ever had!?) are trying to prove but I expect this will be you first & last review on tripadvisor as well , appalling behaviour, I`m the one stuck for words!?!?
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“no atmosphere very disappointed with service and pizza looked more like a flat bread”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2014 via mobile

Booked for group of 8 for belated birthday gathering thought we would have a good fun evening. How wrong was I , moment we walked in staff behind bar pointed us into direction of table. We sat down 10 mins some one came and took our drink order as well as food order. Starters arrived before drinks when we asked about the drinks there seemed to be confusion they did bring our drinks . Staff seemed to be more interseted in standing by the bar with backs to customers talking .
The food arrived the pizza looked like a flat bread with a bit of tomato paste on top, lasagne was very average lots chips with it seafood pasta nice but very salty the only meal that was good was the steak meal, and for the price it should have been.
We decided not to have desert and go somewhere else . Staff again up at bar back towards us not paying any attention we had to call to them to get their attention so we could pay the bill.!
The restaurant had no atmosphere or sole I thought we would be in for a fun night how wrong I was very disappointed so want be going back or recommending it to any one .

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank CarlaM10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steve N, owner / manager / head chef at The Italian Bar & Grill, responded to this review, 25 February 2014
I`m sorry you were disappointed with the service on this particular evening, I`ve read your review & from what you have said the only real problem was a confusion with your drinks not coming out straight away & therefore arriving after your starters. Unfortunately your table insisted on ordering your food when your drinks order was taken & when your drinks were held up & the starters come out promptly it caused the problem. This wouldn`t usually be the case but I still apologise & I have spoken to my staff to make sure that it doesn`t happen again. We were also training a new waitress on that day, unfortunately these things can sometimes happen & we can only learn from them.
I would also like to point out that when the waitresses are `standing by the bar with backs to the customers talking` they are communicating about what needs to be done, sorting out bills which they have to write by hand, getting drinks for customers & on this occasion showing the new member of staff how we do everything, unfortunately that does mean facing away from the restaurant but I do tell them to remember to keep checking over their shoulder as often as possible.
As for the food , a pizza could well be described as a flat bread with tomato paste on it however ours are freshly rolled pizza dough topped with our own handmade italian tomato sauce, grated mozzarella/cheddar & whatever toppings you choose to order, our lasagne is so popular we frequently run out & is such a large portion that there isn`t enough room on the plate for many french fries (although you did ask for french fries so I`m not sure what the complaint is?)
We don`t add any extra salt to our seafood dishes so I am genuinely sorry if it was too salty for you & whilst I am happy you enjoyed the steak I would like to point out that compared to all other (proper) restaurants in Portsmouth (not pubs chains) our steaks are bigger & cheaper (& you will actually enjoy eating them !)
I`m sorry if you didn`t have `a fun night` but I don`t think that was down to your drinks being late or the waitresses standing at the bar, we can only provide the setting for your night, being out with your friends maybe should have provided the `fun`?
We have been open for nearly 5 years now providing over 10,000 meals for happy customers, 110 people have chosen to review us on Tripadvisor & until now we were very proud to have never had a 1/5 `terrible` rating. I think it is a cheap shot & very unfair to use this site to post 2 bad reviews especially when neither of you have ever reviewed a restaurant on Tripadvisor before, the food & service wasn`t really that bad & maybe a 3/5 would have been more accurate.
Thank you for you time
Steve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“my wife and i went for a meal”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2014

I thought I would treat my wife and we would go out for a meal. I looked at the reviews and decided this could be the place for us, even though I had not heard of it. We got the table we reserved straight away, even though we were early. The staff were attentive but not in your face.
The food was very good for both of us. I would say around mid price. My only complaint is that we did not find there was much of an atmosphere. I certainly was not transformed back to the bay of Naples and I didn't hear Deano in the back ground, actually.I did not hear a single Italian voice. If food is your thing then I would go here, if its a romantic evening I could of chose better.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank ady4225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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