Tel: 01235 530900
I like Italian food, but sometimes it can seem as if the myriad chains of Yet Another Generic Italian Restaurant are strangling real, quality Italian meals. So it's great to see a small, family-owned Italian restaurant in Abingdon doing so well.
Limoncello is situated on Ock Street in Abingdon, and despite it's proximity to the (frankly dire) Ask!, never seems to be lacking business. A nice touch is the plate of olives on the table from the outset, giving you something to nibble on while you peruse the menu without having to pay extra for it (as so many places do).
The food itself, while not spectacular, is good, honest fare, well-cooked and well-presented. I started with grilled sardines, which were lifted from the ordinary by a light mint dressing, and The Darling G's mussels were well complemented by their tomato, garlic and basil sauce.
For main courses, I chose a sirloin steak which was perfectly cooked - and the tomato, garlic and oregano sauce, while strong, was not overpowering. The Darling G went for a rack of lamb which was perfectly cooked for our tastes (though maybe a touch too rare for others), though its red-wine sauce was a little bland. The side dishes of saute potatoes, green beans, carrots and fried shredded courgette were well-cooked and tasty.
Service was quick, attentive and old-fashioned, with even the traditional large pepper-grinder coming out for every single course! I found myself wondering if they'd do the same for my espresso.
The whole meal was washed down with a pretty good bottle of house Red, and finished with a liqueur coffee for The Darling G and the ubiquitous double espresso for me (plus a couple of free Limoncellos!). The bill including drinks and service was a not-unreasonable £60.
So the conclusion? Don't bother with the execrable Ask!. Support a local business rather than a chain, walk a few yards up the road and eat at Limoncello.