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“Great place with the family and friends”

Al Fresco - Whetstone
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Ranked #11,883 of 28,637 Restaurants in London
Price range: $10 - $45
Cuisines: European, Italian
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Loved it here, been twice in a couple of months with the same family friends. Choice of food is great there is everything and more. The atmosphere is buzzy, the staff are friendly and very helpful. Very reasonably priced and i cant wait to go back again. Really lovely find as i didn't know it was there until my friend took us! Definitely one of my favourite places and wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone.

Date of visit: September 2019
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jacqui B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2 - 6 of 42 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I'm a regular at Al Fresco (Whetstone) and I've reviewed the restaurant before (eg last year). Unfortunately the restaurant has changed ownership, so all the old reviews were apparently wiped (well, mine were anyway).

So, here is a new review of the restaurant that I visit more than any other, (well, it's less than 100 yards from my flat and I don't like cooking!) - as this is my regular restaurant, this review is a little longer than usual... but I hope it all makes sense.

Al Fresco has the best Prix Fixe deal (weekdays only) in Whetstone (IMHO) - it's the best value and has the greatest time-range (eg it starts at 12pm when the restaurant opens and goes on to last entry at 6.30pm - ie as long as you are sat down my 6.30pm, you can have the fixed price menu). This menu has a soft drink (you can upgrade to wine if you want), starter and main course (with a side eg salad or polenta) all for £12.10 (eg £11 meal and £1.10 10% service). There is always a choice of 5 starters and 5 mains - the Prix Fixe menu alternates approximately every week to 10 days.

I've included some photos of Prix Fixe meals I've recently had (I only took the photos as my mother wanted to know what the food was like).

My favourite prix fixe dishes are...
starters: bruschetta, calamari, tuna and bean salad
mains: roast salmon, chicken with asparagus, chicken with spinach, vegetarian pasta with aubergines & olives, (and pizza - but don't tell my GP about the pizza!)

The portions tend to be Large (whether prix fix meals or a la carte) - but they do do doggy bags (eg one of my friends can never eat more than half her pizza, so she always takes the remainder home in a box for her next day's lunch).

The owners may have changed - but the managers and staff are the same - the core staff always seem to stay for a long time, so as a regular I always get a friendly welcome.

Most of the staff (managers, waiters & cooks) are Italian but they all have a good understanding of English - many of the other lunchtime regular diners are Italian too, which I think is probably the best recommendation for any Italian restaurant.

I have a disability, and the staff almost always get to the front door of the restaurant before me to open it - I appreciate this greatly.

My sister is vegetarian with dietary issues (eg lactose intolerant diabetic) and they always manage to accommodate her needs too.

Friends who used to live in Italy (and now live somewhere else abroad) always insist we go to Al Fresco, as they say it is real Italian pizza (which they can't get where they now live) - it should be real Italian, as the pizza cook is a Real Italian!

They do delivery too (I think this is via one of the well know delivery companies) and every evening there is a queue of delivery people waiting by the pizza chef.

Mustn't forget - they have a loyalty scheme now, so you get c.5% of the value of your meal in points (that add up for a free meal later on).

Date of visit: September 2019
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank AlexRJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I've been a customer since this place was opened, I've always enjoyed the food and ambiance, so much so that I always brought guests there whenever they were in town. Recently however, I've noticed that the food and service has gone downhill. My favourite dish of Chicken with Asparagus in a blue cheese sauce has been served to me without any blue cheese on several occasions, but the final straw was ruining my Mum's Birthday.

The food was quite plainly awful from start to finish. Out of 7 people at the table, only the two kids had any decent food and it was kids food after all. The rest was either tasteless, overcooked or not prepared properly.

We sent several dishes back, but in the end we were only given a discount of 10% for our trouble. We were all too disappointed to really complain anymore.

Alfresco has now lost our custom.

Date of visit: September 2019
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank FATMACSSHACK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlFrescoManagement, General Manager at Al Fresco - Whetstone, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Al Fresco are extremely upset to hear of your disappointment.

Please could you send a copy of your bill to whetstone@alfresco.restaurant or give details of the date and time of your visit.

Thank you.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2019

Went for a catch-up with friends on the evening of Friday 2nd August 2019, we skipped starters and went for mains, I ordered a pizza, service was average, pizza arrived and all the ingredients were virtually raw... thankfully I ordered a veggie pizza, and fortunately eating raw uncooked, watery vegetables on uncooked ketchup covered dough, as unpalatable as it was, is not going to kill you... well, in any case, I'm still here to tell the tale!
Why did I not complain I hear you ask? Well normally I would ...on this occasion opportunity did not present itself. But what I would comment is that this establishment is only surviving on two facets... the glory days and reputation of years gone by and the absolute lack of competition of other quality offerings in Barnet... if this restaurant was 5 miles down the road in Upper Street and served this poor quality of food it would have been consigned to the history books years ago! Would I visit again ... hmmm highly unlikely, the advice to the restaurant really concentrate on your food offerings, and raise your standards... its the food experience(s) that will bring repeat custom or keep customers away.

Date of visit: August 2019
    • Value
    • Service
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2  Thank Asim I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2019 via mobile

My family and myself went to Alfreso this evening for my Birthday celebrations.
There was always olives on the table but now there is a charge for them.
The food was terrible. The minestrone soup had absolutely no taste and was just like hot water with tasteless vegetables.
My chicken escalope was thick and completely tasteless. The accompanying vegetables were broccoli and rock hard sauté potatoes, there used to be a lovely selection of vegetables with the main courses.
My husband didn’t enjoy the liver, in fact all of us were exceptionally disappointed with our meals.
The Manager offered a discount , but it was an extremely small amount.
This restaurant has totally gone downhill. We had the impression that there was a new chef, unfortunately, not a very good one.
We have been going to this restaurant since it opened. I’m afraid in future we will be giving it a very wide berth.

Date of visit: September 2019
2  Thank Ronda286
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlFrescoManagement, General Manager at Al Fresco - Whetstone, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2019

Thank you for your feedback.
On behalf of everyone at Al Fresco, I am extremely sorry you did not enjoy your meal with us.
We regret that we stopped providing complimentary olives around two and half years ago. We were unable to continue to provide this service due to other increasing costs at the restaurant. However for the small price of £2 we now serve a far superior product.
Your comments regarding the minestrone and potatoes will be taken on board and we are considering ways to improve the recipes.
There is no new chef. The current team of chefs have been with the company for several years now.
Again we are sorry you did not enjoy your meal and hope we can improve your experience if you are to return.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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