I have frequented the restaurant for 35+ years, so always had an affinity with the place. It has had a few different owners, chefs and names but have stuck with it.
Sadly last night will be the last visit and after a few disappointing take outs no more takeaways. The new waiter was attentive and seemed a little lost, but did his job.
5 of us. The soup I had, had seen better days and the veg was far from fresh, the bread was frankly inedible. They used to produce their own when Nicola was the chef but since he left they seem to pick up cheap and frankly stale bread! The 3 younger members had potato skins but they looked anemic and tasteless, the salad that came with it was limp and had seen better days.
The mains 2 ordered the Bolgna pizza and both said the sauce was sweet and not as good as it used to be! I have the Mafiosa and the dough was undercooked and the toppings had seen much better days, not sure how you can go so wrong with the pizza. The daughters boyfriend had the Calazone and not one to complain ate some of it and left the rest. I have never seen some much food returned to the kitchen in that restaurant. We declined the desserts, even though it was my wife's birthday, hence the trip. And the bill, including drinks, came to £77. I wanted to say something but my wife doesn't like me to complain when she is there!
So sadly we won't be returning, maybe they need to revisit the halcyon days when the place was packed out, instead of concentrating on the takeout side which seems to preoccupy the owner. Even they are no longer worth ordering, the last three have been massively below par.
So an end of an era, both wife, kids and myself spent many happy times there but the place is freezing in the winter and needs a total overhaul. Dated, dark and needs a good clean!
A long look at the situation needs to be done by the owner, I don't think the restaurant will survive much longer without it. Easy to up the food offering by doing good basic Italian food, good minestrone, good pizza's, etc. All its takes is good fresh, not old, ingredients! Sadly they failed. As I said end of an era for a restaurant once full of vibrance, good food and people enjoying the dining experience. Look around at the other restaurants and they might pick up few ideas!
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