Valentino’s Italian Restaurant, 121 Heaton Moor Rd, Heaton Moor, Stockport, SK4 4HY. Tel: 0161 443 1843.
This place used to be a real little hidden jewel of restaurants about ten years ago. We visited there again a couple of times recently; and my, how things have changed!
In the past, it was run by an Italian family, an earnest old cove with Italian chefs. Foxy black haired waitresses in tight black hipster trousers used to take your mind of the woman you were with. The fillet steak and ratatouille was legendary, the house wine drinkable and the atmosphere agreeable. However, that was ten years ago…….
Now it is full of new faces. Some of them may be Italian, but they have imported the service levels from the continent (as fast as the continental drift) with them. Bored uninterested looking girls as waitresses, young lads in the kitchen with hats at jaunty angles, scratching their noses and snickering, wines at £15 that you can get in Asda for £4. The fillet steak is now highly forgettable and the ratatouille and vegetables you need a microscope to see! We are talking minuscule portions.
The decor looks unchanged since opening several decades ago. They have a website here you can take a look at if you don’t believe me. The chairs are held together by right angle brackets (£2 a bag in B&Q) and still they wobble. The space is severely limited meaning that you cannot go to the toilet without moving other diners around and saying, “excuse me” five times.
The prices are not expensive particularly, yet they are over priced for that food and decor quality and forgettable service.
Our recommendation to the owners: Buy some new chairs, rearrange the tables for comfort, get some real chefs, lose the 1976 Trattoria decor, get better wines at reasonable prices, get better steak, increase vegetable portion sizes, and increase the prices a bit to pay for it. People will pay more for quality! Right now you are trading on your decade old reputation, and the experience does not live up to that any more.
The recession will close you – act now!