Everyone has 'that' restaurant. For some 'that' restaurant can be a guilty pleasure, shrouded in memories or just because you love it and can't quite put your finger on it. For me, The Valle D'Oro at Newbury is the restaurant I always call upon when I need something. Sometimes it's to fill a hole with so much cheese I can barely walk, other times it's just because I love it. Why do I love it? I cannot be specific as all the aspects of being there work together to ultimately provide an evening you cannot leave without feeling satisfied.
The meal always starts with breadsticks and a basket of bread with butter or oil and vinegar. I somehow managed to turn my vinegar into what looked like a mini Italy with a massive Sardinia. If you squint anyway. Things started well, proper balsamic not that syrup malarkey and a mild but fruity olive oil. I have tried a few of the dishes over time and, despite them being delicious, I always come back to the lasagne.
This is the warm, gooey, beautiful bowl of loveliness that I crave. I think about its crispy edges, cheese laden top and sweet, meaty centre at least once a week. To me this is my perfect meal made by the lady who serves it to you. This isn't a particularly long review but what else can I say? Every time I have been to this restaurant it's absolutely packed so I can't be the only one who cherishes it.
I enjoy the atmosphere, the staff, the food and the fact that they use a dessert trolley where the names of the desserts available are announced so fast you can barely catch their names. It's honest, proper food and the portions are as generous as the hospitality. When food is this genuine it doesn't need fancy presentation, you grab your fork and unashamedly dig in.