Sometimes, very rarely, I venture out away from Ramsbottoms fantastic eateries and head elsewhere.
The venture away from Ramsbottom this time, me and my wife went to Anacapri as a birthday treat for me she had arranged.
It’s not far from Rammy and we’d heard some good things about it, so it was certainly on our list.
Entering the dark carpark at the rear of the building we found a space in front of what appeared to be a big pile of bonfire wood. Given it wasn’t anywhere near November the 5th at the time we expected to still have a car when we returned.
We headed down the steps into the rear of the building appearing by the bar area.
Once inside we realised it was pretty busy. Which is always a good sign on my books. One of the few times I’ve ever had a bad stomach was in a small cafe in Thailand where just me and my wife were customers. Never again!
Our table wasn’t quite ready so we were shown up to the cocktail bar. Once we got upstairs to the cocktail bar it turned out to be empty, as in nobody was there to even serve us.
Right about the time I was wondering what was going on the waiter who had just shown us up came back upstairs, he’d realised nobody was there to serve us. I wish I’d taken a photo of this, it was very Fawlty Towers.
We ordered our drinks and sat down at a small table, about 120 seconds later we were told we could go to our table, so we headed back down again. Swings and roundabouts, on the one hand it was exercise I’d not planned on doing, on the other we could start to order food.
Scanning over the menu we both had good ideas what we wanted to have. I’m usually pretty easy to keep happy in an Italian restaurant, so we ordered and not long after were presented with our first course.
A plus here, very quick service, nothing worse than ordering and waiting 20+ minutes for your course.
The first course was nice, not too much vinaigrette, the right balance of mozzarella and tomato and green stuff around the outside.
On to the second course. I chose a good Italian staple, the Lasagna. Normally, I’d go for a pizza, but it’s been a long time since I had a proper Italian Lasagna, so I thought I’d go for it this time.
Lasagna arrived in one of those posh heavy cast iron pots, as I’d expected. Although I’ve made lasagna at home before, we never make it like they do at an Italian restaurant and Anacapri didn’t disappoint.
Tasted good, like a good lasagna. Anything special about it? Not exactly. Maybe that’s it’s appeal though, you know what you’re going to get? There’s a number of Italian restaurants like Anacapri that do a very similar menu with a similar setup. It’s a tried and tested recipe, the first one that comes to mind is called Puccini’s in Swinton. A great restaurant by all accounts, but after you’ve been a few times, it just gets a bit boring.
So, lasagna went down very well, I managed to avoid burning my fingers (which now I come to think about it, I wasn’t warned about how hot the bowl was. That I see as a positive, there’s only so many times you can be told not to touch something that is obviously hot).
I don’t often go for desert, who am I kidding? I always go for desert when the option is on for three courses. It’s only when it’s a starter or desert that I’ll forego it in favour of a starter.
The dessert of choice for me this time was Creme Brulee which it seems is actually an old English desert and not French as the name would suggest (although the English name is literally burnt cream, sounds better in French).
A good brulee, but again, non descript. Apart from the four red (maybe raspberry ripple?) dots of sauce, nothing was different to any other Italian. It’s almost like all these independent Italian Restaurants all went to the same cookery school and formed a chain of coincidence. With a Nandos or a Pizza Express you expect the same in each one.
So, the food was great, we were served quickly and the staff were attentive, what’s the problem?
First, it was very hot in there. Granted, it was busy, so highly likely that this was the cause of it. Just something to keep in mind if you’re heading over there, don’t have too many layers on.
Another thing, one waitress didn’t seen too bothered about taking my order. When wife ordered a drink (at the table, not the Mary Celeste of cocktail Bars, there must be a cocktail pun in there somewhere) the waitress buggered off before I could even order mine.
This same waitress again later asked if when taking our desert orders if “that was everything” when I was simply waiting for her to finish writing down my wife’s desert order. I was just being polite and waiting, I didn’t realise I need to jump in to get my order taken.
In essence, to sum up, the food was good and service was friendly (it was friendly, the waitress was the only one who seemed disinterested) and fast. We weren’t sat around waiting around to get the bill.
Having said that, it was a bit rushed through. They clearly have a high turnover of tables with a fast throughput. There is a happy medium when it comes to eating out. Sometimes it’s just too difficult to get anyones attention to get the bill, and sometimes they’re far too keen to get you paid and out of there.
If I was going to go again it would no doubt be good again, but I expect nothing special. Hard to explain, but I’d not rave about it. I felt very comfortable and a reliable Italian but nothing out of this world.
It’s like if I had some friends rounds and I needed to not cock up on a night out, then they could certainly do it, and entertain a big group, I suspect, that that’s their best customer. Especially with their massive pepper grinder (has to be seen to be believed.)
I don’t do reviews that often, if you like this and want more let me know in the comments below.