We had high expectations of Il Casale- it had come recommended. But we were so underwhelmed.
We went on a Thursday, so not a busy night, but we were one of two tables, and the atmosphere was poor. The music was terrible, really terrible. At one point there was an easy-listening Christmas carol mix. In June. The decoration is tacky; wagon wheels and little patches of brick tiles for that 1970s rustic look.
The staff were pleasant and attentive, the wine list limited, but our bottle of Pinot Grigio was nice. Very tasty olives were brought to our table on arrival.
We shared the tricolore salad to start. The ingredients were all fine, but just fine, nothing to write home about.
We had pizzas for our main course. The base, I must say, was excellent, thin and crisp. Very good. But the toppings... another story. An extremely salty and herby tomato sauce (so herby that I couldn't taste tomato) mixed in with (maybe grated?) cheap-tasting mozzarella. The cheese and mozzarella looked as if they had been mixed together ready to slop onto the bases, leaving an unappetising orangey-red lumpy sticky-textured mass. My pizza was an olive and caper pizza. It had 6 olives and 5 capers on a large pizza.
We mentioned the stinginess of toppings when paying- they apologised and said to mention it next time, and they would make sure there was more. I don't think we should have to request a fair amount of toppings. If the tomato/cheese had been more flavoursome it wouldn't have been a problem, but the pizza needed the toppings to make it interesting. There certainly won't be a next time.
I can see why people might like it here- the staff are friendly, the prices reasonable, the food adequate, but it really doesn't deserve the five-star reviews it's been getting. Not a nightmare, but certainly not a star.
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