I have been to Poppa Piccolinos several times and have always found the food to be excellent. Having tried both pizza and pasta dishes I feel the restaurant excels at its pasta range, especially its variety of spicy dishes such as my favourite the penne con polpette.
Our most recent visit was by far our best. Six guests, all welcomed by a friendly, personable manager, had drinks at the bar, where we ordered, before being taken to our table on the upper level. The restaurant has two floors and I have always eaten downstairs on previous visits. This was my first experience of dining in the upper level and it was absolutely fine - plenty of space round the tables and a good atmosphere. I do feel for the waitresses having to bring food up the stairs from the kitchen though.
We ordered a range of dishes between the six of us - two pizzas, two pasta dishes, a roasted lamb, and a mushroom risotto. I had the penne pon polpette and can safely say it was one of the tastiest pasta dishes I have ever had - and I'm a very picky eater who has a lot of time in Italy visiting various restaurants. The report on the risotto was that it was one of the best ever tasted.
Having tried both pizza and pasta dishes, I do feel the chef is more comfortable with his spicy pasta dishes than he is making pizzas. The pasta dishes are divine, the pizzas less so. I ordered the garlic pizza bread with tomato to start - the pizza was too thick for my liking and the tomato/garlic sauce lacked the rich, tangy sweet/sour infusion I usually like with such starters. Likewise, the pizza also had its problems - although it was very tasty it lacked enough tomato base so most mouth fulls were cheese and veg.
The manager makes you feel very welcome in a relaxed atmosphere. He enjoys a bit of banter and is a very personable, easily-liked person, who, although checking on our table from time to time, does not overbear with his presence.
Other reviewers have mentioned the waitresses lack social skills. I felt the waitresses/waiter were fine (most are young, part-time college types) but could do with some of the personable skills of the manager. Like another reviewer we also had to go to the bar to order drinks when the staff should have been attentive enough to replenish are drinks. But, after the manager realised we had gone to the bar to order a round, I noticed the waiting staff were more attentive to our needs and made sure subsequent drinks were ordered from the table.
As it was my birthday the whole table got a free shot – a choice of Limoncello or Sambuca, as well as the happy birthday tune.
The GOOD – very welcoming, personable manager; fabulous pasta dishes (the best in the local area), friendly atmosphere, reasonable prices.
The AVERAGE – you can get better pizzas elsewhere, the waitresses/waiter could have been more attentive to our needs as we had to go to the bar to order some more drinks.
The BAD - nothing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.