Here it is, my final restaurant review from my weekend away. I’ve been hibernating lately as we’re trying to save for a house, so any form of reviews has taken a backseat. Hence why I’m really trying to make the most of my eating out whilst in the Lake District!
In this post, I’m reviewing Dodd’s Italian restaurant in Ambleside, another find on the good ol’ trip advisor! After participating in a 10-mile walk earlier on that day, we were running low on energy, negative calories, and really in need of some good old pizza.
After reviewing several comments on trip advisor, we settled for Dodd’s which was approximately a 20-minute drive down the road from where we were staying at Cragwood Country House Hotel. After parking up, we walked around trying to find the restaurant and noticed Dodd’s hidden away down a street. It looked so cosy and small, with people sat in bay windows sipping large glasses of red wine and munching pizza – absolute perfection.
As you couldn’t book here in advance, we walked in and hoped for the best. It was already extremely busy, which is usually a good indicator of a place. We had to loiter around the bar with people barging into us for about 10 minutes before anyone approached us to ask what size table we would like and if we would like a drink, however, it was a busy Friday evening so that could be forgiven.
We ordered our drinks (I opted for a Kir Royal – one of my favourite prosecco cocktails) and were asked to take a seat at the bar whilst they found us a table. Once ready, we were placed on a table next to the open kitchen which I absolutely love to see in restaurants. Open kitchen = no chef's picking noses near your food!
The staff were very attentive once we were seated and were soon over to take our orders. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post how indecisive we both are, Dave was mulling over a few different dishes and asked the waitress what the Seafood chowder consisted of, her response was ‘it’s just a chowder, with seafood’…helpful! I ended up choosing a cheese garlic bread for a starter, and Dave ordered the confit chicken and prosciutto terrine. For my main, I ordered the Romana pizza (but without the mushrooms because bleurgh, so basically ham pizza), and Dave decided on the seafood spaghetti which was in a white wine, garlic and butter sauce.
As the starters came out, I was very disappointed with mine as I expected in a proper little Italian restaurant for the garlic bread to be in slices like a pizza – however it was literally just a bit of melted cheese on a garlic baguette – this dish was £4.75 so I found this very expensive for what it was!
Daves’ terrine had quite an overpowering Chinese spice on it, which wasn’t mentioned in the description on the menu. As the terrine didn’t have any gelatine to hold it together, the chicken was very dry and this dish was quite unenjoyable.
When the mains arrived out, I was quite satisfied with my pizza as it was an authentic pizza with the thin crispy base, nice big chunks of crispy ham and lots of cheese = a winner in my eyes! Dave’s, however, was very disappointing. The white wine sauce was extremely watery, and his dish looked like he was just eating spaghetti in murky dishwater. The muscles were overly salty, to the extent that he ate two and couldn’t manage anymore out of the dish. Standing at a price of £12.95, we really expected a lot better than this!
I only managed to demolish half of my pizza (I know, how embarrassing) and asked to take this in a doggy bag. I was expecting them to come back with it wrapped up in foil, however, they arrived back with my pizza boxed up in a little plastic Tupperware box which I thought was a really nice touch.
All in all, we didn’t have the best experience here. The venue itself is very cosy, nicely decorated and a really lovely atmosphere. The staff did loiter next to our table by the kitchen, and whilst they did this watched our table like a hawk – whilst it’s good to be attentive, this made me feel very uncomfortable and would maybe suggest moving the table away from the kitchen if this is the case. The pizza was very good quality, and I enjoyed having seconds the next day – but as for the rest, quite pricey for what you got, and really not a great standard of food. Would not recommend this here, don’t always listen to everything trip advisor says! This was a massive step back from our meal the previous night, and wish we had gone back there.