Not quite what we have seen from other Italian restaurants
Sopranos has been in Southsea for well over ten years and has mixed reviews. Dean chose this restaurant because the Grubgang have always enjoyed a good quality Italian restaurant and when he checked out the website, the prices were just right for the gang to dine for £20 a head!
The venue gives a cafe like feel, more than a restaurant. It appears to be that they have fewer tables in the room during the day perhaps, and stuff as many as possible into the space in the evenings. We had to book, and it was clear to see why when we arrived. The place was almost full and extremely busy staff were trying to keep up. Our waitress was so busy, she ended up taking our drinks order with the food order, but we didnt mind this at all!
We decided that some of us would have starters whilst others chose to start with something from the appetisers. Gemma had the "warm bread for one" (which she said they should have just called "toast"!), Dean had a bowl of olives.....lots of them!! Mike and Clair had the starters of Grilled sardines and Brushetta respectively. Mike enjoyed the fish, tucking in straight away whilst Clairs brushetta was presented beautifully with goats cheese and a sutle pesto. What we would say here though is that although there was a good few dishes to chose from, there wasnt much variety for starters.
So to the mains....... Gemma chose the chicken rissoto, filling and tasty. Dean had a cajun chicken pizza which was also tasty. Clair tried the Pollo Parma penne (chicken, parma ham and mushroom with pasta in a mascapone sauce) and Mike also decided on a tomato pasta dish. The meals were tasty and filled us up, but we couldnt help but feel a little flat. It didnt quite give us the "wow" factor that we have had from so many other Italian restaurants in the area.
Maybe the fact that the service was slowing down didnt help. Time was ticking on, and we wanted to order desserts. It seemed, however that because it was quieter, the staff saw it as a time to chat at the bar and kind of forget they still had customers waiting. We were offered the dessert board and there really wasnt much choice on there. One dessert had run out and the others just didnt stand out. Clair had ice cream, Gemma chose the profiterroles whilst Dean and Mike chose a mocha sundae, which they both agreed was nice.
Time for the bill......still waiting......waitress clears dishes and we ask for the bill......waitress ends up talking for 10 minutes to her friend at the bar and we finally get the bill when Clair catches her eye and waitress mutters some profanity under her breath that she had forgotten!
The most excitement the gang had was when the bill arrived with jelly beans and mints!! The decision was unanimous.....the food was nice, but the place seemed to lack the Italian atmosphere we Grubgang members enjoy and the "wow" factor is missing. We therefore give the Sopranos restaurant a respectable............
Marks out of 10....................................................... 5 (Dean Maskell)