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“Oasis on a Monday night”
Review of Piccolo di Piazza - CLOSED

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Piccolo di Piazza
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Staying near Ilminster on our way elsewhere, we don't know the area. By chance we found this Italian restaurant and really enjoyed our 2 course a la carte meal. Pleasant but not obtrusive staff, maybe we were luckier with our food choices than other reviewers on this site? We do eat Italian fairly regularly out and can say that if we lived closer to the Piccolo, we would definitely return - and with our friends.

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Thank AmadeusEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (51)
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19 - 23 of 51 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2013

This was our first visit to this restaurant. We love italian food, having lived and travelled extensively in this country. We had read the reviews given here, but were prepared to try it. After all how hard is it to cook a decent bowl of pasta?
Certainly the name is italian, dishes have been given italian names, they serve italian wine, that is the only connection to Italy we found!
The first thing to notice on sitting at the table is paper tablecloths? Shocking, given this is meant to be a "restaurant" and the high end prices charged.
Service was fine for us, and no complaints on that score. The Sangiovese wine was acceptable and we were looking forward to our meal! I am confining my comments on the food to what I had, but everyone was disappointed. (Our friends have an italian sister in law so well used to authentic dishes)
So to the food! My pasta looked perfect and my heart soared! Wrong, the garlic was burnt and that acrid taste was vile. I could not eat it, and it was taken away, but there was no time to cook another, before the mains. I was very hungry by this time and asked for more bread. What came was little off cuts like you would feed the ducks with!
So onto the main event, capesante in Italy is scallops in their shell with garlic oil and chilli, their version of Coquille Saint-Jacques. The menu said this one had spinach and cream with garlic? I was not prepared for a plate of mostly cream, scallops which showed no sign of being cooked and in the midst of it a large green ball. On closer inspection this was the spinach, as it is when taken from a frozen bag, no longer frozen but none the less quite disgusting! Most of it went back to the kitchen.
As I am writing this I am thinking that no chef anywhere would allow such food to leave his kitchen. So was the chef ill and someone not trained was "having a go"?
All in all not an experience to repeat and not how we had envisaged spending our anniversary.

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1  Thank Chrissie77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We had looked forward to a meal out with friends. We arrived 15 minutes before they did and we weren't offered a drink while we waited for them. After friends arrived, we got menus and spent ages waiting for our order to be taken by a supercilious looking chap in a shiny suit who seemed to wish he was somewhere, anywhere, else. Drinks came and starters came, which were fine - unexceptional, but decent. Then we waited, and waited, and waited. Eventually we managed to attract the attention of Mr Shiny Suit to ask how much longer we'd be waiting for our mains and they finally arrived. We ordered dessert and the semi fredo was so deeply frozen you couldn't get a spoon into it, but a friend's dessert was nice.

The atmosphere in this Italian styled restaurant is lively and pleasant, but it's a small town joint charging big city prices and certainly not delivering on either service or food exceptional enough to warrant the hefty price tag. It's a shame, as it promises much and falls short on delivery. There's not much competition in Ilminster, so this may account for the complacency and the condescension of the chap who served us, but we certainly won't be going back there in a hurry.

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1  Thank Sarah_T19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

We were in Ilminster for a weekend break. Apart from pubs and a few tea shops, there seemed nowhere to eat in this small market town, and Piccolo di Piazza really doesn't have much by way of competition for evening dining. Despite this, I'm pleased to say our experience (two nights running) was mostly good.
On our first night, the starters ruled - deep fried calamaris were crisp, tender and tasty, and the chicken livers on toast with marsala and pine nuts were really excellent, rich and almost chocolately - delicious. The steak which followed for my partner was juicy and tender; my penne all'arabbiata was plentiful but not as hot and spicy as I would have liked.
We were pleased enough to return the following night - it was Saturday so we booked in the afternoon. I had lamb with gnocchi, peas, spinach and mint. The meat was tender and well-cooked, but again I felt the sauce was under-seasoned. The portion of carbonara ordered by my partner was huge and very tasty, by all accounts. He could only manage a liquer coffee for afters - fine. I squeezed in a lemon cheesecake with candied lemon. It was light, more of a cream or mousse, but very lemony with the candied lemon. It was served with a few splodges of red berry coulis, which really didn't go - a bit more of the scrummy candied lemon would have been much nicer!
Service was friendly but rather slow the first night, better the second. Wine and drinks - fine. Ambience - fine - comfortable seating, but not always warm as the door opened straight onto the (very chilly) street. The background music was the same both nights; no problem if you're a fan of Pavarotti! Value for money? Mmmm......maybe just, though some dishes seemed rather expensive. I think they're trying, though.

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Thank Annie085
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013 via mobile

This is a nice restaurant with good choice of food. However, it is a little pricey. Unfortunately there is no lunch menu, I think the owners are missing a trick here. Promoting the coffee and cake at lunchtime and introducing a lunch menu would be great. We would definitely go more often if this were introduced.

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Thank Samiraktaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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