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“Is this really the fourth best eatery in Paignton?!”
Review of The Italian Job - CLOSED

The Italian Job
Price range: US$4 - US$12
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Delivery, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol
Description: Is a relaxed italian & mediterranean restaurant. The restaurant appeal lies not only in its seasonal country cooking, but also in its natural warmth and effortless italian charm. FAVOURITES Include breakfast all day bruschetta, pizza, pasta. Italian full menu.
Falmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
157 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“Is this really the fourth best eatery in Paignton?!”
Reviewed 24 June 2013

I haven't been to a neighbourhood Italian for a long time. Our high streets are dominated by Prezzo, Zizis, Nandos, and other equally tedious, predictable pizza and pasta joints, so it was with considerable relish that I looked up Italian restaurants in Paignton and found some outstanding reviews for The Italian Job. I promptly booked a table. Let me first get out of the way the things that you won't know if you've never been. First, it is not licensed. However, there is a Tesco Metro five minutes walk away where we picked up a very serviceable Cotes de Gasgoine out of the chiller after the waitress pointed out that we were going to to have to buy our own. Second, paying by card isn't straightforward. The restaurant doesn't have its own card reader, so you have to phone a number and… who know what happens next. I don't want to have to ring a call centre in [insert distant global city] and give my card number out and… you know, I'm full, I've had a glass of the wine I ran to the supermarket for and… oh just here's my cash. While I was trying to pay, someone banged loudly on the window in a drunken sort of way and the owner went after them down the street like a terrier down a rabbit hole. Then he came back and got his rolling pin and went after them again. Crikey! Are we going to be ok walking back to our hotel??? This is Paignton, not flippin' South Central LA! What's going on??? Ok, back the review… when we arrive, we are shown to a table in the window. I squeeze round to the window side but bumped against a very inconveniently placed lantern with a tea light in it (hanging at shoulder height, and I'm 5ft 3in) and it spilt wax all down my coat. Sigh. This small neighbourhood Italian has about 20 covers and was ticking over (it's 8pm on a Saturday night. Any self-respecting neighbourhood Italian should be heaving). There was one waitress and, even though the place wasn't full, she wasn't coping well. After a while some menus showed up. Then we had to run out for some wine. Soft drinks arrived - a can of Fanta delivered lodged it its glass, plastic pint glasses with a jug of water. Classy. When our starters arrived, the mushroom bruchetta had a load of bacon in it (we don't eat meat). That wasn't mentioned on the menu but ok, our fault, should have asked. When we eventually managed to flag down the waitress, we asked her to take it away but we didn't make a fuss. I wouldn't have expected chunks of ham in a mushroom bruchetta but we probably should have asked if it had meat in it. She came back two minutes later and asked if we would like one without meat. That was a very kind thing to do and we accepted. That gets a big tick. The owner also came out and checked in with us to see if the new dish was ok. Another big tick there. I had the mozzarella and tomato salad and it was fine, not great but fine. My daughter had the bread and olives but the bread turned out to be groaning with garlic butter. Again, this was not described as such on the menu. I'm starting to think that the menu descriptions need an overhaul. On to the mains. Our friend had a smoked salmon penne and it seemed rather good if salty. There was certainly plenty of it. I had the spaghetti with clam sauce. I've had this dozens of times in the US and it's usually amazing. This time it was very bland. My daughter had spaghetti with a tomato sauce that may or may not have come out of a tin and was very, very sweet. My husband had a tagliatelle with prawns and mushrooms. It was ok. In fact the whole thing was just… ok. It was cheap - £60 for four starters, four mains, three teas and a coffee. But given the plethora of five star reviews, we were expecting better than ok. It was, to be honest, pretty disappointing. The waitress was sweet but totally overwhelmed. She didn't know the menu and she was rushed off her feet on what looked like a fairly quiet night. The food was not any better than I can do at home and is certainly eclipsed by the amazing Italian food I have enjoyed elsewhere. This place could be great, but it's not at the moment. Back to Pizza Express I go, with a heavy heart.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank OutAndAbout40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Emanuele F, Proprietario at The Italian Job, responded to this review, 2 July 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review my Restaurant. Firstly, may I say that the reviews you may have read before visiting are written by people who have been to The Italian Job and who have enjoyed the food and dining experience that I have to offer. They clearly felt that I deserved the 5 stars that many of them awarded me. I do not claim to be a fine dining or 'classy' venue - my aim is quite simply to provide good authentically Italian food cooked with care and attention, the sort that you would expect to eat in a 'Trattoria' if you are fortunate enough to visit Italy. Secondly, my prices reflect the style of cuisine and ambience that I offer - after all £60 for 4 persons having 2 courses each and coffee is no more than you would pay if you visited a high street chain Restaurant. In respect of your comments about the plastic glasses - I aplologise about this but you fail to mention that I do not charge corkage on the wine that you bought with you, and for your enjoyment I provide you with fine wine glasses from which to drink it with! Finally, I endeavour to provide a good dining experience, I operate with few staff so as to keep my costs low which are then passed on to my customers, and to that end I feel that I am successful.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

159 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    98
    34
    13
    7
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Torquay, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fantastico!”
Reviewed 23 June 2013

Well, what can I say!
Popped in on the off chance to this little gem on a busy Sunday and was seated at a table. My order of an American hot 12" pizza arrived swiftly and all I can say is eat your heart out pizza express and dominos! Perfect taste and texture,
Manuel the owner, should be proud of the delicious food he cooks and my waitress was so polite, efficient and helpful too!
First class service :-)
Will definitely be back!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Daniel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paignton, United Kingdom
1 review
“Fantastic!”
Reviewed 23 June 2013

Went with some friends and was surprised at the quality of the food for the price. Great service!
would definitely recommend.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Fried0001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paignton, Devon
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Delicious authentic Italian Food”
Reviewed 23 June 2013

Great to have a decent restaurant in Paignton, nice atmosphere and tasty food! Make sure to take a bottle if you want a glass of wine though as not licensed yet and it isn't mentioned when you book.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mussonclan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tamworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The basics need to be more refined”
Reviewed 22 June 2013

My partner and I went on a Saturday night to be seated quickly by a pleasant enough waitress. However being a Saturday night I felt another server would of been more beneficial as our order wasn't taken for 15 - 20 minutes as the waitress was rushing around by herself serving food, taking bills and taking other orders. Both my partner and I had the soup of the day for a starter (which was tomato) that was delicious. However my main of lasagne was quite disappointing. Served in a round bowl (never seen it served like that before) it bubbled with a small slither of a pasta sheet floating in the middle. The taste was full of fat and didn't possess much flavour.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank beth w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Emanuele F, Proprietario at The Italian Job, responded to this review, 24 June 2013
to keep the prices very low for all customers, not staff or more, and all customers are up to today were very pleased and happy, I'm sorry you're not happy, if I return back the money
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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