Written on: 06/02/2006 by PixieOfDoom (104 reviews written)
Friendly maitre d'
Lovely house wine
Sometimes the family atmosphere gets loud
The first time we went to Saporito there were children running around the restaurant shouting and staring over our shoulders while we ate as if that was normal behavior in a restaurant. So we hadn't been back in over a year. On Saturday, however, we decided to give it another try because the menu is brilliant and we didn't want to drag ourselves all the way into the city centre just for a quick meal.
The place was absolutely buzzing but we were told they could accomodate us if we were out by 8:30pm. As it was about 7:05 we figured we'd have loads of time so we took the table. Despite the initial mention of time, the staff did not in any way make us feel rushed. We had enough time for a glass of wine before the starters arrived. My husband had a lovely bruschetta topped with tomatoes, basil and onion and I had whitebait which was perfectly cooked at not at all greasy. The maitre d' kept comping over to check the house wine was a nice as he'd promised, to see that our food was ok, and he was joking and friendly. He seemed to recognize half the diners as they clearly come to the place regularly.
We had plenty of time for the starters to settle before the mains arrived. I had pasta in a tomato, garlic & chili sauce which had just the right amount of heat so I could feel the chili but still taste everything. My husband had pasta with mushroom and shrimp in a creamy tomato sauce. He said it was lovely. The menu itself had a fantastic range of pasta and risotto dishes and if I hadn't eaten the fried whitebait I'd have gone for a gnocci dish with creamy tomato and mozzarella sauce. So few places seem to do gnocci and it's one of my favourite dishes. There was also a lovely range of meat dishes and pizzas which all looked very nice.
Afterwards, we had coffee and my husband had what was the largest slice of apple tart I'd ever seen in my life.
On the whole I think our first impressions of the place were on a bad night as the atmosphere was friendly, the kids dining with their families were in check and the wait staff, although surly, were very effiecient and the friendly maitre d' more than made up for the grumpiness of his staff.
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