‘It will be better next time - come again and tell your friends!”
Those were the farewell words of the new man behind the wheel of the Da Vinci wine bar and restaurant at Wellington Park Hotel, Leyland.
I don’t know what prompted the promise of it being ‘better next time’, because we were fairly satisfied with the service and didn’t make any complaints,but I’d be interested to see what improvements he has in mind.
Admittedly there were possibly a few tweaks which could have enhanced the experience for us – one of our chosen beer taps had run out of juice, and we had to wait a while to get our drinks at the bar when we arrived (about 15 minutes), even though we were the only customers in – but the food was good and it was generally a pleasant evening.
Jack and I last visited the Italian eater last year and we enjoyed a meal in the restaurant downstairs, but that is only open to big parties now, and so we were instead seated in the main bar area, which has a bright and modern atmosphere.
This could all change soon though, at the hands of our host who told us he hadn’t been in charge for very long, and had plans to make some adjustments.
Anyway, on to the food.
After a refreshing Cosmopolitan cocktail and a beer at the bar, we chose our starters.
I had brie wedges with salad, while Jack had chicken livers with salad.
The wedges weren’t very generous on the brie side, and seemed a bit hollow in parts, but they were actually very tasty and appeared to be homemade.
Jack wasn’t over impressed with the liver, as it came with a simple tomato sauce, whereas in other restaurants he’s been used to the sauce packing a bit more punch with chunky pieces of onions, tomatoes, and sometimes sausage or black pudding.
The mains made up for that though, as they were delicious.
I had the special Da Vinci pizza, with cured ham, Parmesan shavings and rocket, and added some olives on for good measure.
It was very tasty and filling, and Jack also enjoyed his vegetarian pasta dish, with a side order of garlic pizza bread.
I also tried a red wine with my meal, and the bill came to a total of around £40 (some of the dishes were part of the early bird, mid-week menu).
I reviewed the restaurant last time we went and came away very impressed, and while it was a nice night out on this occasion, I can’t say I was as enthusiastic this time round.
It could have been that it was a Thursday night and there were only two couples eating in the bar area – it’s possibly more atmospheric and bustling at the weekend, which would definitely help.
Or perhaps it was because the new management hasn’t quite settled in yet.
Either way, the food was enjoyable, which is the main thing.
Looking at the website, there’s more to this Italian than pizza and pasta, and they offer a carvery on Sundays and certain lunchtimes, fish and chips on a Friday, and ‘light bites’ too.
Name: Da Vinci wine bar and restaurant
Address: Wellington Park Hotel, Church Road, Leyland
Contact: 01772 432000
Opening hours: For evening meals, from 5pm until 10pm Tuesday to Saturday, and from midday to 8pm on Sunday. Closed Mondays.