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“Excellent food and ambiance but bizarre service”

Il Porto Italian Bar & Kitchen Weymouth
Ranked #77 of 292 Restaurants in Weymouth
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Il Porto is the result of a lifelong passion for food and hospitality. Created by brothers De Paola, their intention was to create a restaurant which they would frequent themselves - a place considered in both its food and design, and one that has a personality and identity. An Italian bar & Kitchen, rustic decor, sympathetic to the historic brewery in which it is housed. Authentic family recipes that utilise local produce, the best that Dorset offers, cooked "Italian Style"
Reviewed November 2, 2013

My wife and I ate in the evening with six friends. The food was excellent and the ambiance was interesting with music and dancing towards the end of the evening making it a very enjoyable evening overall. However the service was bizarre. A server asked if we wanted any wine to which we said “Yes please!” whereupon she gathered up our wine glasses and disappeared. Once we managed to attract her attention again we confirmed that we wanted wine. “Red or white?” she responded. “What wines have you got?” “Dunno” she said somewhat sulkily. “Can we see a wine list?” we asked hopefully and she went off reluctantly to find one. When the eight meals arrived they were put down seemingly at random. “Is this the Portobello Mushroom?” I asked. The server didn’t know and had to go off with the meal to find and ask a colleague. We discovered that many of the serving staff are foreign with limited ability to understand English. We would return but hopeful that more experienced English speaking staff were employed. Two meals both of two courses plus a bottle of house wine cost £70.

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Thank Dorset_Food_Fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlPortoWeymouith, Public Relations Manager at Il Porto Italian Bar & Kitchen Weymouth, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2014

Many thanks for your review.

We are pleased you enjoyed the food, music and entertainment.

It sounds as though the language barrier just got in the way on that evening, I am certain that no sulks were being thrown, probably just the waitresses own way of dealing with frustration of learning a new language and not always being able to come over as one should.

We look forward to seeing you very soon.

Kindest regards,

The il Porto team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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395 - 399 of 503 reviews

Reviewed November 2, 2013

Not a great first impression as we approached the entrance, seeing two of the chefs smoking nearby. Even though I had booked a table for four earlier that day, our arrival seemed to catch the staff out because my name and 6.30pm booking were nowhere to be seen. However, we were quickly seated not too far from a window and near to other families with children which always puts us at ease with our two offspring. Drinks were served quickly and the bottle of Italian house red wine was very good. My wife's mixed seafood platter for one would easily feed two and was very good value. We kept the main course simple and ordered the spag bol and the spaghetti carbonara which was the best we have had in any restaurant , really delicious! The kids pizzas from the children's menu were huge and the waitress kindly boxed up my daughters leftovers to take home. The kids ice cream and our coffees were truly Italian and superb. We were not shown the 'specials' board at the start of our meal which would have been nice and prepare yourself for a slight communication issue with staff because they are true Italians which I think adds to the authentic atmosphere. A truly great meal and a little piece of Italy in a great part of Weymouth's Brewers Quay. Will definitely dine here again, really good food.

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Thank Sed90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2013 via mobile

Last minute decision to go here whilst on holiday.

Seated immediately by the window on a not particularly busy evening. Our young waiter was extremely attentive throughout the evening and simply could not do enough for us, without being overkill.

Although the food was delivered swiftly it was not to the point where you felt rushed. Food cooked to perfection. We had a glass of wine, a bottle of wine, couple of beers, couple of soft drink mixes, plus three courses, which amounted to£108, which we didn't feel was bad for what we got and the service with a smile.

All tables laid on arrival and clean, staff were friendly as though we had known them for years. A great evening had by all. Would highly recommend.

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Thank Tigger1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Restaurant was recommended by our hotel and we were not disappointed. Fun decor that made it reasonably atmospheric despite being very empty (Sunday evening during a monumental storm so I imagine everywhere was quiet!). I had scallops followed by crab and it was delicious while my wife was very happy with her caprese salad followed by veal. The kids menu was good value and the spaghetti bolognese was excellent (my son left some). Service was efficient and friendly. Very difficult to find fault.

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1  Thank marianne5582016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

After reading good reviews on TA we decided to dine at Il Porto.
We had a table booked for 20.00, arrived 19.55 went up to the bar to get drink waited 10 minutes to be served.
Finally managed to get a drink and informed the bartender that we did have a table booked for 20.00,eventually waved over to a table that to be honest with you needed a good clean, then sat another 10 minutes when someone arrived to get our order.It is now 20.30.
I may add that we still did not even have cutlery, napkins or even glasses for water. We finally got some paper napkins & cutlery just before our starter arrived.
If I was popping in for a pizza at lunch time I would expect paper napkins, however when I am going out for a nice meal in the evening I do not think this is correct (I may add that every table around us had cloth napkins???)
The starters were absolutely wonderful, so tasty, no complaints at all, similar for our main course, in fact my partner had filled her self up so much with the starter that she could only manage about a quarter of her main course. The waiter actually asked if she would like him to container it so she could take it home, great idea and she took him up on it.
So to summarise on our visit to Il Porto:
The food itself is superb, without a doubt the best Italian food in Weymouth.
However a bit more care should be taken when booking customers in to ensure that,
1. There is a table available for them.
2. The table is cleaned,dressed and that all relevant cutlery & glasses are in
place.
3. Purchase some condiment sets,

I believe that the Il Porto is going to be given a revamp in January 2014, lets hope the organizing gets some at the same time.
Then it may become more like the families' other restaurant, Da Vinci's in Poole.

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Thank CalMac35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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