We went for dinner at Criniti’s Castle Hill on a Wednesday night. We arrive just before 7 with no reservation and were greeted by a very friendly manager type gentleman who delegated us a table and wait person. Very efficient.
Perhaps, as I had read the overwhelmingly bad reviews of the restaurant my inner restaurant critic senses were heightened, but I have to say that the entire evening was almost faultless and as we joked towards the end of the night, the bad reviews must have been written by the other restaurateurs in the Piazza who had 30% full restaurants while Criniti’s was 85% full.
We started with a round of drinks, my strawberry caprioska in particular was a highlight. My mum and I shared the caprese bruscetta to start with while my boyfriend had the pizza pocket. All were very tasty and arrived in good time.
For mains I had the veal Travolta and I must say, it was cooked to perfection. So tender it was just lovely. And generous portions also, they gave me 3 pieces of veal! My mum had linguini while my boyfriend had a pizza. I sampled a bit of both and I must say I almost had food envy when I tried the pizza. The base was fantastic, thin but chewy and slightly crunchy around the edges. Fantastic! Then for dessert we had nutella doughnuts and nutella calzone, again all the food was lovely.
I was almost convinced by the bad reviews not to try this restaurant but we were swayed by the expansive menu to give it a go. Though I did think that some of the prices were a little high for a restaurant in Castle Hill, at the end of the meal I was more than happy to pay a slightly higher price as everything was beautifully cooked, our waitress was friendly, educated on their menu (she even explained to us the difference between Italian and American made mozzarella!) and she genuinely seemed to be enjoying her job.
I’m guessing that when this restaurant opened they were a bit shakey and, perhaps, not as well oiled a machine as they now seem to be, also the time of year they opened was, perhaps, not that well thought out. The lead up to Christmas is always very busy with large group functions, which seem to be a majority of the bad reviews. Not an excuse for bad service, but I think this place deserves a second chance. It was a really tasty meal, fantastic service and its local. I’ll be going back again.
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