We fancied an Italian dinner for our final night in Winchester and looked online for an independent restaurant but the two we found, appeared to focus exclusively on pizza. So somewhat reluctantly we downloaded a voucher for 20% off food at “ASK Italian”:https://www.askitalian.co.uk/restaurant/winchester/ in the High Street.
The restaurant is located in a beautiful Grade 2 listed building, called God Begot House. Inside the modern design blended well with the ancient beams. At 8pm we’d found some restaurants very quiet but ASK was gently buzzing with a wide range of customers with more continuing to arrive until we left.
Our waiter for the night saw us approaching and was ready to greet us and showed us to a table for four, even though there was only two of us. We were served complimentary small shots of a cloudy lemonade and although it was refreshing, I’d have preferred limoncello!
The “menu”:https://www.askitalian.co.uk/menu/ had all the usual Italian favourites and I went for a classic Stromboli pizza in a prima way (stone baked for longer) with extra chillies and Roy chose a new dish, beef and chianti ravioli. The charcoal black and white ravioli was filled with beef ragu, topped with spinach and served with a red wine sauce which came in a separate jug. It didn’t look the most enticing dish with the black pasta and brown-coloured sauce, but it was very tasty especially with lots of freshly grated parmesan and coarse black pepper to go with it.
My rectangular pizza was fabulous and came on a board with a pizza wheel, which I normally hate using but it turned out to be very effective in cutting through the thin, crisp dough. Whilst it wasn’t as spicy as I’d hoped for, a dousing of chilli oil soon rectified that.
A bottle of house white was a very reasonable £14.95 and tap water was presented in a large bottle.
There was a separate dessert menu with many tempting dishes, even for a non-pudding type of person. As I was finishing my wine, the manager passed by and I asked him for a recommendation. He told us about the new pudding featured on the front of the menu, an innocuous looking brownie with two scoops of vanilla ice-cream and salted caramel sauce. I’m not sure whether he was joking but he said it contained a whopping 1,000 calories and was made for sharing by very hungry people! He also recommended a couple of other dishes – a chocolate and blood orange tart and a passion fruit and raspberry cheesecake. However, I decided to go with the offer of a hot drink and thin slice of the chocolate tart for £5 whilst Roy had a liquid pudding of another glass of wine.
After the 20% discount, our final bill came to £44 without tip. Our waiter was excellent and when we were chatting at the end of our meal, he told us he was from Nepal and his father had been a Gurkha: there is a Gurkha Museum in Winchester.
Having had such great food and friendly service, I won’t be trying to avoid ASK Italian in future.