Booking is essential - this place seems always
to be full to brimming.
Slightly up-market from the standard "Formula
Italian", the menu includes Carpaccio and Vin Santo, options not always found. The
staff were attentive and efficient.
The occasion was an anniversary with relatives, so the emphasis was on company rather
than food, but the food was pretty good, with one exception...
Those dishes with tomato based sauces on our table all suffered from what appeared to
be slivers of wood or bone. When we complained (after eating the dish!), the head waiter
took the dish away, and returned later to tell us that what we had picked out from the
sauce was the woody stem of Basil. This explanation was apparently enough for the head
waiter. Although we would perhaps have preferred a more apologetic approach, we were not
in the mood to bring down our outing for this shortcoming.
The verdict is that I had a pleasant evening almost in spite of the meal, rather than
because of it. I suppose Est Est Est has to cater for the mass market, and suffers because
of this - particularly as this is one of the very few restaurants I've been in which
expects you to vacate the table for the next set of diners - we were booked in for 18:45,
and were expected to vacate by 20:30. Although we were, on this occasion, finished around
about the time specified, this was probably because we had a child in our company - had we
been all adults, this "rushing" would not have been tolerable.
Verdict - I won't be going back under my own steam, although if invited by
others I wouldn't complain too much.