Stef's Italian, Soho

Last night was absolutely vile out, so when my lovely wife kindly offered to pick me up from the gym I suggested we grab a bite to eat out. I had read a whole series of great reviews for "Stef's" so I suggested we park up on Berners St and give it a go. We love Italian food and we like nothing better than a simple dish of pasta with a nice glass of red wine. London despite the advance of the chain restaurants has some good fun italian places so we were keen to try one of the better ones out.

We got there about 7:30 and the place was very busy. It's not the most attractive room in the world sort of like Strada but more red. We got our table, our coats were taken for us a nice touch and we waited to order which took a while as they seemed short staffed. Eventually we were seen to and ordered a caprese salad and garlic bread as a shared starter, taglietelle for me to follow and my wife went for the gnocchi. We shared a bottle of water and as I was thirsty I had a orange san pelligrino along with my glass of wine.

The starters came pretty quickly but we were disapointed, the garlic bread was dry and a bit non descript, it also repeated on me all evening. The caprese salad had nice mozarella, standard tomatoes and the the smallest portion of avocado. When we usually have this elsewhere it is a filling starter, For £7 I was expecting a lot more. The drinks came and my wine which they recomended was fine, my orange was served without ice which is a bit lazy.

We then waited for our mains...and waited...and waited. I can handle a bit of a wait but we were talking about two plates of pasta. After lots of promises it eventually came. To be fair my taglietelle was very nice, the asparagus went well with the prawns and it was pipping hot. My wife's gnocchi was less good and just warm. They had been having problems with the palm pilot ordering gizmo when they took our order so I suspect that was the reason for the delay. In any case the food didn't make up for the delay. I would have ordered a second glass of wine but no one offered and the waiter never stayed long enough to ask.

Plates were cleared but no offer of a dessert menu or coffee so we decided to call time on this poor culinary outing and go home. It has to be said were both very dissapointed with this place. I can only suspect some of the bridge and tunnel crowd who like it here must have some pretty shocking local italian restaurants at home. It was no better than a "pizza express" or "zizzi", certainly not as good as "strada" and it came no where close to our own favourite non chain west end italian "Il Pizzaolio". Not good at all.

Friday, February 26, 2010
Overall rating
Food 5 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 4

Golden Hind, Marylebone

Arbutus, Soho