Chain restaurant offers good food, but lacked atmosphere

Scene Setter : ASK

Scene Setter : ASK

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IT was a cold Thursday night when I decided to visit Ask Italian restaurant in Grantham High Street for my dinner before going to do a comedy review.

I’ve been to the chain restaurant in other towns but had never tried this one before and since my last visit the menu had totally changed.

After being greeted by a friendly waiter at the door we were seated in the middle of the large room with no other diners anywhere near us.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to be sharing someone’s table but it did feel a little bit like sitting in an airport lounge waiting for a flight.

Not all the first impressions were bad, however, our waiter was lovely and very friendly.

He immediately took our drinks order and without thinking I ordered the fresh fruit milkshake.

I’m sure it wasn’t from the children’s menu but when the faded orange plastic cup arrived with a straw I did feel a little bit silly. Especially when my partner, Marc, was drinking wine from an ultra-modern stylish glass.

Moving on from that and sticking firmly to the adult options I ordered the butterfly king prawns to start.

They arrived sizzling in a skillet and looked and smelt devine. They were served with little pieces of bread (Italian artisan Altamura to be precise) and were coated in a light garlic butter.

The taste did not let them down but I did feel the portion was a little stingy, especially for £6.95.

My partner ordered calamari, which was well cooked and served with a garlic dip. It was very tasty and there was not much left on the plate.

For main course I opted for the risotto frutti di mare, which came with a selection of king prawns, clams, mussels and squid. The creamy risotto tasted lovely and was quite generous with the amount of clams.

I often find risotto gets a bit boring after the first few mouthfuls as the taste of cream takes over but this did not happen as there were so many different flavours in the seafood and the white wine based sauce.

Marc decided to be more creative with his main course ordering a margherita pizza and adding beef meatballs and chicken.

The friendly waiter again impressed by offering to slice the pizza and then giving a masterclass in the use of a pizza cutter.

Unfortunately neither of us had room for dessert so I can’t tell you what they are like but just reading the menu makes my mouth water. It has quite a selection ranging from honeycomb cheesecake and lemon tart to tiramisu and apple rustica. But ‘Our Chocolate Nemesis’, which sounds similar to a fondant will definitely be in order next time.

Review by Suzie Pike

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