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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Review - Limoncello, Abingdon 5 December 2008

Limoncello Restaurant

13, Ock St
OX14 5AL
Tel: 01235 530900

I like Italian food, but sometimes it can seem as if the myriad chains of Yet Another Generic Italian Restaurant are strangling real, quality Italian meals. So it's great to see a small, family-owned Italian restaurant in Abingdon doing so well.

Limoncello is situated on Ock Street in Abingdon, and despite it's proximity to the (frankly dire) Ask!, never seems to be lacking business. A nice touch is the plate of olives on the table from the outset, giving you something to nibble on while you peruse the menu without having to pay extra for it (as so many places do).

The food itself, while not spectacular, is good, honest fare, well-cooked and well-presented. I started with grilled sardines, which were lifted from the ordinary by a light mint dressing, and The Darling G's mussels were well complemented by their tomato, garlic and basil sauce.

For main courses, I chose a sirloin steak which was perfectly cooked - and the tomato, garlic and oregano sauce, while strong, was not overpowering. The Darling G went for a rack of lamb which was perfectly cooked for our tastes (though maybe a touch too rare for others), though its red-wine sauce was a little bland. The side dishes of saute potatoes, green beans, carrots and fried shredded courgette were well-cooked and tasty.

Service was quick, attentive and old-fashioned, with even the traditional large pepper-grinder coming out for every single course! I found myself wondering if they'd do the same for my espresso.

The whole meal was washed down with a pretty good bottle of house Red, and finished with a liqueur coffee for The Darling G and the ubiquitous double espresso for me (plus a couple of free Limoncellos!). The bill including drinks and service was a not-unreasonable £60.

So the conclusion? Don't bother with the execrable Ask!. Support a local business rather than a chain, walk a few yards up the road and eat at Limoncello.


Hedgewytch said...

I've not tried Limoncello's I was under the obviously false impression that it was expensive.
I'll give it a go next time thanks.
Have you tried the other little Italian further up towards Bath St?
that is very lovely and also family run. Though why oh why do we really need 4 Italians in such a small space. I hope that ask doesn't harm the family run businesses. Novelty should run out soon I hope

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I am not sure about the consistency of this restaurant. But I have been there last month to celebrate my birthday. Very first time I invited a friends and I was so embarrassed. I told them it was the best restaurant in a review.However,the price of the steak (£19)doesn't justify it's taste and size.I had scampi with rice and it's tasteless (considering I don't use too much salt in my food).I complaint politely but the manager who happens to be the owner didn't even apologise and remained arrogant saying they never had a complaint before. Obviously,the manager doesn't know how to address the situation in an acceptable manner.You can try it though.But I do hope you won't have the same experience I had.