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“Classy Italian”
Review of Al Borgo Ristorante - CLOSED

Al Borgo Ristorante
Price range: $19 - $65
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Family-run Al Borgo offers casual fine dining, specialising in northern Italian cuisine. The ambience is warm, intimate and unpretentious and all guests are welcomed with genuine Italian hospitality. While buying only the finest quality of ingredients, including meat and fresh fish, our Chefs make all desserts, bread and pasta in-house on a daily basis. As one of only three Italian restaurants in the London Borough of Richmond, we are incredibly proud to be listed in the prestigious Michelin Guide UK & Ireland 2015. Enjoy "al fresco" dining on our pretty patio during the summer months!
Reviewed October 26, 2013

An excellent evening with high quality Italian food. The fillet steak and veal main courses were particularly good. Friendly service with a little tongue in cheek. The dark chocolate and mango dessert was excellent. All supported by an eclectic backing track from late 1960s classics to trance.

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Thank Wirralians
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (105)
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55 - 59 of 105 reviews

Reviewed October 17, 2013

I had a surprise party for my partner on Saturday night, we were well looked after by the charming owners and staff and our meal was fantastic. Would highly recommend this restaurant as a good neighbourhood restaurant for all occassions; family and friends and a romantic evening for two. A wide range of meals in varying price ranges available and great atmosphere. Will definitely come again!

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1  Thank Lorien S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2013

Friendly greeting on arrival, but unfriendly service after that spoiled what could have been a better dining experience. The wine list was presented with 'I suppose you're choosing the wine', said in a disapproving way, as if it was an offence for the male half of a couple to make a (joint) selection.
Good prawns as starters, but the black truffle (£8 extra) added to some excellent beef carpaccio was without smell or taste.
Main course pasta was good if not memorable, the veal escalope presented without any attempt at visual pleasure, just a dollop of potato puree alongside a rather well-cooked piece of veal which had been nicer a bit earlier in the cooking process.
The wine list offers a good selection but is overpriced in relation to the food, starting at £21.37 for the cheapest, including the mandatory service charge. The verdicchio we ordered at £25.31 was a fairly tasteless example of what can be an excellent white.
It's a clever touch that the 12.5 % service charge is mandatory because it wasn't deserved, so often the case when the staff know the customer has no choice.

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1  Thank baronflyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marco B, Owner at Al Borgo Ristorante, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2013

We are very sorry that these customers did not have the best experience at Al Borgo, but are surprised that this was not brought to our attention immediately. Even though this particular evening was extremely busy at the restaurant, we always ask our diners if they were happy with their dinner. It is frustrating to witness that unhappy customers often prefer to hide behind the curtain of review sites to voice their discontent, instead of giving restaurateurs the chance to make amends and try to turn things into a positive experience for their customers.

Without going into too much detail, I would still like to clarify and comment on the issues mentioned in this review:

Handing the wine list to the male at the table is still seen as a demonstration of etiquette in Italy and is in no way disapproving or offensive. Being an Italian restaurant run by people with Italian traditions and manners, we are sorry that our gesture was clearly misunderstood.

Unfortunately, Black Truffle comes at a price and anybody who knows the price will agree that £7.75 for a very generous topping of black truffle shavings is in fact not expensive.

The veal escalope “Valdostana” is a very traditional dish from the Aosta Valley in north-western Italy. We prepare and serve our dishes as they are traditionally prepared and served in the regions they come from. Even though the veal “Valdostana” might not be the most glamorous looking dish, it is very tasty and usually very popular with our customers.

Bottles of white wine starting at £19.00 is a reflection of the quality of wines we buy. We believe that with the quality of ingredients we use for our food, we cannot lower the quality of wines we offer to bottom shelve supermarket level. Even though one of the simpler Italian white wines, the Verdicchio these customers chose has DOC designation, “Denominazione di Origine Controllata” (controlled designation of origin), and is competitively priced at £22.50 on our wine list.

The service charge is not mandatory but “discretionary”, as mentioned at the bottom of our menu, and common practice in 99% of restaurants of a certain standard in the UK. Once again, if this was a problem for these customers, why was this not voiced at the time??

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2013

Had the 2 course set menu of warm octopus salad to start, followed by Italian dumplings called gnochetti which was amazing......the decor is lovely too. The only down side is that we were the only diners in there all night, which meant that it lacked some atmosphere.

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Thank gemscott78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2013 via mobile

We had a fantastic meal at Al Borgo, made all the better by the fact that they had a seasonal truffle menu and the dishes on this menu were amazing, some of the best food I've tasted in ages. Service was great and felt very personal. All in all a wonderful night out.

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

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