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“Disappointed”
Review of Donato's Italian Restaurant - CLOSED

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Donato's Italian Restaurant
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We were regulars at Donato's in the past but hadn't been there since it had been taken over. On entering the restaurant there were always boards with specials of the day etc. with a good choice of fish, meat and veggie dishes. Yesterday under the new regime there were only two pathetic choices and I commented that I was hoping for fish and was informed that they ran out of fish at the weekend (this was on Wednesday evening!). We were handed a flimsy bit of paper with the limited choices (mostly chicken or steak) and a few Italian pasta dishes. We were seated at our table and our drinks were brought to us. When our food arrived there were very few vegetables compared to former visits to the restaurant. I had medallions of pork covered with mozzarella and swimming in a red sauce - it seemed as though half a jar of passata had been poured over it. This sauce was overpowering and tasted 'raw' i.e. just poured out of a jar and heated slightly!
Others chose the duck breast, which I am informed didn't have much flavour at all. (This restaurant used to be renowned for its half duck!!) Everyone was disappointed. The desserts were better and I enjoyed my profiteroles.
We weren't asked if we wanted wine with our meal and had to go out of our way to request it.

All in all, we all felt that the place had gone downhill and none of will consider going back there, which is a pity as we have frequented that place over the past 25 years!

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Thank walkingwizard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (35)
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17 - 21 of 35 reviews

Reviewed May 8, 2013

We had a lovely meal and a great welcome at Donato's last week. I hadn't had lemon sole in ages and it brought back memories of old family holidays in the Med. Clever friends of ours in Newton Abbott for suggesting it.We will certainly be back in September.

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Thank Rike71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

The children's meals were ok when they came but i ordered the vegi pasta for myself and it had smoked salmon in it! I sent it back and they then sent it back and had removed most but not all the Salmon? Luckily I'm not a vegitarian so I just ate it as I was hungry, but no apology nothing.. Husbands pizza, well he was convinced the base was not fresh and at best It was ok, but not really a great tasty meal out. We won't be going back in a hurry.

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1  Thank Wendy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

After a long journey down to Exmouth, we were delighted to find Donato's, a traditional and appealing Italian restaurant in the hotel cellars ! We were welcomed into the restaurant by a very helpful manager and seated near a well stocked bar. I picked my own choice of pizza and my partner chose the Sea Bass from the specials board and boy did we enjoy these meals. The manager told us a new chef had started earlier this month and he was settling in very well. After choosing two home made tirimasu from the sweet trolley, we sat contented as a steady stream of customers came into the restaurant. Service was exemplary and the food tremendous.

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Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

We booked Donato's for our Valentine dinner, having been several times over recent years, as it is very local. It was an ominous start when we were led through the virtually empty restaurant to a table next to the toilets. We both ordered bruschetta starters followed by fillet steaks and a bottle of wine. After half an hour we were starting to wonder when the food would arrive. Then, after 40 minutes, the waitress arrived with our main course. We told her we were still waiting for the starters and she turned and offered our steaks to another table! After a few minutes the waiter arrived at our table and said "I understand you haven't had your starters yet -they're back there" My wife said "this has spoiled our evening", but the waiter just turned and walked away. After a further wait the starters arrived. When the main course was served it was clear that they had kept the steaks brought out earlier and re-presented them to us. The steaks were shrivelled and dried out, though in fairness the chips were nice.
After the meal we had to go th the counter to pay by card as we were told the machine wouldn't function at the table. The waitress asked if we enjoyed the meal. I replied "eventually" through gritted teeth and she said "oh sorry for the wait, I don't know what happened there." I think this is the first time I have ever left a restuarant without leaving a tip. We won't be returning there again!

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3  Thank Eddie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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