Pretentio’s was opened on The Broadway in Leigh in 2014, and within a few months it simply became THE Italian restaurant to visit when looking for some tasty and reasonably-priced Meditteranean nosh. It’s owner and head chef, Beppe Di Boopee, 42, originally lived and worked in a small bistro in Sicily, but he made the move to the UK a few years ago after hearing that the town was perfect for ‘an artisan offering looking for maximum revenue extraction.’
I was instantly impressed by the opulent Italian surroundings – the portraits of Tony Soprano and Joe Dolci really gave me feeling that I was sitting in some Venetian café or Sicilian tea house! The service was friendly and welcoming from the start, and Mr Di Boopee even came and greeted me personally to inform me that my meal was on the house – his levels of Italian hospitality warmed my heart.
As an appetiser I chose the Pane Garlicio (£29.95) and this was accompanied by a glass of Vino Di Vino 1994 (£27.50). A wonderful combination of bread and wine that had me humming O Sole Mio like a native.
My main course was Nouritio Vanishio (£47.95), and this was the finest example of both modern nouvelle cuisine and modern art that I had ever seen. It was simply a small empty dish with a photo of a lasagne, but the concept of imagining what the food would taste like for that price genuinely enriched my soul. I have never felt so moved by a plate of food before and I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again.
With my sweet tooth, I finished my meal with another bottle of Vino Di Vino Di Vino Desserto (£79.95), and my chosen dessert was their signature pudding – Barro Di Chocolato Peanutti (£37.50). This was a 5-inch block of chocolate and caramel, with a line of peanuts delicately laid down the centre of the bar. Simply divine! I complimented Mr Di Boopee on the ingenuity of this dish, and he told me that he got the inspiration from the world-famous food entrepreneur ‘Snickati of Napoli.’
I rate this as a five-star restaurant, and a paying customer would leave with change from £250 for a meal for one – this would really leave a sweet taste in my mouth!
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