Deep inside your brain there’s a little algorithm that starts computing every time you go into a restaurant. It’s an equation that adds food to value, multiplies service over atmosphere, and divides by consistency.
You don’t realise you’re crunching the numbers til you’re paying the bill – and your onboard computer delivers its verdict: yes, we’ll be back. No, you’re having a laugh.
It’s a formula that leaves many restaurants wanting.
It had been a busy Saturday. A lacklustre lunch at Lunya (the second in a row) left us £60 lighter and still hungry. Three tapas each, a beer, and that sinking feeling that comes when you know the kitchen just isn’t on it that day.
Here’s the thing about the Italian Club: do the math and, every time, the numbers balance perfectly.
It’s nine o’clock on Pride Saturday and the Italian Club is as convivial, welcoming and buzzy as ever. If it’s been frantic all day you’d never know it. Waiting staff whisk us to our table, crack open the Morettis and talk us through the specials. Before you can say ‘when’s your Dolmio day’ we’re relaxed, cocooned, and wondering why the hell we don’t come here more often.
Democratic, family friendly and fuss-free, The Italian Club doesn’t beg to be your friend on Facebook. It doesn’t try to distract you with with elaborate, glass-finned statement bars, and, to our knowledge, has never once begged us to come for a nudge-nudge PR tasting event.
The Italian Club just gets on with the business of cooking hearty, wholesome and authentic Anglo-Italian fare. And now it’s open til 10pm most nights, it’s doing it more often, to more people. But still, it doesn’t like to make a fuss. And that’s partly why we love it.
These days, everyone’s desperate to tell you they’re an expert. Everyone’s only too keen to show you their credentials. Every new restaurant promises ‘out of this world’ food in a ‘no-expense spared’ experience. We had an invite to a new one this week, Holdi in Woolton. And we got the photos from its launch (pic r). A star studded crowd including ‘footballers’ wives, Hollyoaks stars and Desperate Scousewives’ attended. Our bouche wasn’t amuse.
We’ll no doubt go down in a bit – it might be fantastic. But here’s our recipe for success. You don’t need an app. You don’t need a networking event. Just get your head down and cook, will yer.
After a reassuringly on-the-money bowl of ice cream and another beer we got the bill – £54. That equation? It stacked up beautifully.
The Italian Club? It says it best when it says nothing at all.
The Italian Club
85 Bold Street