3.5 on Trip Advisor, would have been useful if I’d checked that first….
I love Italian food, but I’m always hesitant to go out for an Italian meal as it can be very hit and miss if you aren’t familiar with the venue. We don’t go into Moseley very often so stopped off at the Prince of Wales and the DarkHorse for a couple of drinks first. We found Ponte Di Legno online and I had a skim through the menu spotting a couple of dishes that tempted me. When we arrived, most of the tables were full and a couple of people waiting in the doorway to be seated -I get the impression that they do separate sittings. We had booked in advance but there was a wait for our table so we hovered awkwardly by the door next to a couple having dinner – I was glad not to be seated on that table as there was no privacy from the queue of people arriving or the draft from the door. As we waited, we noticed people removing bottles of wine from plastic bags and quickly realised this was a ‘bring your own drink’ kind of place, we checked and there were no drinks on offer at all so Jordan took a quick trip to the shop whilst I stood around waiting. this isn’t on the website and I didn’t see any signs either so it wasnt the best start to a meal.
25 minutes after our designated booking time we were seated and thankfully our order was taken pretty swiftly as we had been given menu’s whilst we waited. The room was very loud and certainly came across as popular but I struggled to work out if this was just because people could bring their own drinks and were, in most cases making a solid attempt to drain their glasses at speed.
First courses arrived, I went for the Lobster ravioli in a lobster sauce with prawns (Agnolotti alla aragosta), Jordan made this recently and it was *incredible* so I was eager to have something similar again. My starter was 4 ravioli, on a flat plate with 2 small cocktail sized prawns, the sauce lacked any real flavour of lobster but was a pleasant consistency. The ravioli itself was cooked well but the meat inside tasted like it had come from a can, no flavour and mushy in texture. I was unimpressed but hungry.
Jordan had goats cheese bruschetta, with pine nuts, onions and rocket. Essentially, this is just a construction job as everything is pre-prepared but the quantities were off. There was too much goats cheese for the accompanying ingredients and the onions tasted as if they were spooned straight from a chutney jar. Not bad, just not quite right.
With higher hopes for the main courses, we continued but we were feeling less than enthused. I had ended up picking something a bit less Italian and went for the Tournedos Rossini as I don’t see it on menu’s very often and I used to order it at an Italian place close to home. Traditionally it comes served with a syrupy Madeira sauce so I was a little surprised to see it come with peppercorn sauce but continued regardless.
Expectation vs Reality
Ok, so for £23 I wasn’t expecting the image above (this is from www.greatbritishchefs.com and has the recipe with it, it looks awesome) but I did have a certain level of expectation. This is what I actually got:
Again, It wasn’t terrible but it was average at best. The amount of pate was very small, the crouton on the top instead of absorbing the meaty juices and the sauce insipid. I didn’t try the mushrooms as I don’t eat them anyway. But the weirdest thing was the steak itself, I ordered it cooked Medium although I would probably have gone for medium rare had I thought about it more, when it arrived it was medium well but the texture was very odd. Cooked right, it’s a soft buttery steak albeit without much fat but the texture that came to mind as I was eating this was of liver (I hate liver) it was almost like a dense, grainy fudge with a slightly odd taste. Dinner landed on our table at 22:40, according to my phone, our Uber arrived 19 minutes later in which time we had managed to eat some of the food, finish our drinks and pay. Jordan had a pizza, nothing to write home about and he left half of it, it looked soggy in the middle to be honest.
The thing is, it didn’t really feel like the environment to complain as everyone else seemed happy enough and to be honest – we just wanted to go home in the end. Nothing was inedible, it was just below the standard we expected.
A couple of things that really bugged me that I have to mention:
- The kitchen is open plan, so having chef’s in whites branded with another company (Nec group) seems a little ill thought out.
- Nobody told us it was bring your own drink, there is no soft drinks menu or if there is, we weren’t told.
- After going to fetch our own wine , a bottle opener was skimmed across our table so we had to open our own wine- with a Radisson branded corkscew…
- I don’t mind waiting if I haven’t booked, but I don’t expect a 25 minute wait at the front door when I’ve pre-booked a table
- There was some kind of christmas decor leftover in the plant pot behind me
- There were no check backs on our meal
We wont be returning again (and wish we had the BBQ we spotted at the Dark Horse) but I’m always happy to try somewhere different and at least we got to a trip over to Moseley
44 Woodbridge Road