We visited on a Monday evening and were quite surprised to see the restaurant empty. I've had many a good meal in an empty restaurant before so we were not put off. We should have been more wary...
The young lady who served was polite if not attentive and spent more of her time in the kitchen area than in the dining room talking to the chef. With the kitchen being a fairly open affair, we could hear them chatting but not see them.
Having seen the review on here I can only assume the chef's day off is a Monday...
The starters all seemed expensive-the tomato and mozzarella is 6.50.... So we decided to share a bruschetta. How disappointed we were. There was absolutely no seasoning in the tomato topping. The menu says they use San marzano tomatoes which they must have run out of as the tomatoes most definately were not, and seemed mainly to be diced pieces of tomato core. The garlic was raw and the basil was limp and tasteless. The topping was chilled, but had the texture of being chopped days before.
Main course was more disappointing! I ordered the smoked salmon and shrimp agnolotti di mare in a dill sauce. Now considering the starter was completely without seasoning , the main course was completely over salted. The dish was served with fresh tarragon over the whole meal which was the only flavour that was then detectable. I like the taste of dill but was unable to taste it because of all the tarragon, a flavour I am not fond of. The prawns were chewy, I'm guessing by the texture they were frozen and the agnolotti were definately frozen. You could tell by the way some had split apart, as that can't be done with fresh pasta, and all in all 12pounds was a ridiculous price to charge. My partner had the gnocchi all a sarda as she had never tasted homemade gnocchi before. Unfortunately she has yet to taste it as these were not homemade as described but shop bought. The salami had been diced so small that many pieces were just chunks of fat. Had they been diced a little chunkier I'm sure the dish would have been better.
With our experience of our first two courses, we decided to skip dessert at the restaurant and get the tiramisu from Tesco. Judging by the first two courses, I was half expecting to be served shop bought if I'd had dessert there anyway.
On a positive note both the red and white house wine were drinkable but at 3.95 for 125ml, they were outrageously priced (that works out at 24 a bottle.... For house!)
You may assume from my review that I don't like to spend a lot on food, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I'll gladly spend 20-25£ on a main if I feel I'm getting good quality ingredients and some imagination and passion from a chef. I do not like to be ripped off and lied to.
I would not return to this restaurant ever again. I understand this used to be a restaurant of some standing, I feel it may have rested on its laurels a little too long. The menu is dated with dishes that haven't changed since the 90's and the chefs seem to have stopped using fresh ingredients.
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