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Antico Restaurant & Lounge Bar

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Sunday 8 January 2012 10.50am
The cocktail bar downstairs is just hideous and the staff on new years eve very unfriendly. been there twice....the first and the last time!

i was wondering if anyone made better experience during the soft launch in the restaurant?
Sunday 8 January 2012 12.29pm
We went last night and had a really nice evening, the staff were all lovely and the food was delicious. We thought it wouldn't have been bad at full price, though we were grateful that we could buy half price and half size portions of some things. We didn't go downstairs but I don't have a single complaint. We will definitely go back, if we can get a table!
Sunday 8 January 2012 12.55pm
My experiences having been there on Friday with some friends for the soft opening are completely different from the OP.

I thought the food was very good indeed. Zucca has set the local bar extremely high but on the basis of my first try, Antico is there or thereabouts, which is praise indeed.

I always think it's a bit unfair to judge service at a soft opening but all the staff were very friendly. I'll certainly be back.
Sunday 8 January 2012 7.20pm
is it part of a chain? a la Zizzi ? they will have to be very very good to go anywhere near Zucca
Monday 9 January 2012 12.23am
Not a chain, as far as we're aware.

We went last night for the soft opening and thought the staff were friendly and that the food was in fact...better than Zucca (are we allowed to say that?!).

But then we also agree with the opening post that the downstairs bar is, unfortunately, pretty soulless.
Monday 9 January 2012 11.20am
Dropped in on Friday for a drink downstairs.
Friendly staff and good music, but the bar needs some help.

Dimming the over-bright downlighters under the bar top, painting the speakers to match the wall and getting some extra art on the wall would be a start.
I know that they've only just opened and everyone has a budget, but I'd look at replacing the tables downstairs sooner rather than later, get some more inspired bar stools and add a couple of proper chairs rather than footstools to at least one of the tables.

I want local businesses to succeed and will be going back for a meal (upstairs looks far more inviting, and the menu looks great), but can't see myself using the bar again (even though happy hour made it very reasonable) when there is so much other choice in the area.
Monday 9 January 2012 2.22pm
Little bit harsh the first post perhaps. Not been yet but intend to soon. The menu looks great IMHO. Now we just need a decent pizza place!
Monday 9 January 2012 2.30pm
agree that the first post was probably too harsh - they have just opened and its still soft launch time. Makes you wonder why anybody bothers to take a risk & open up a new business. Am hoping to try it this I guess I'd better like it now!
Monday 9 January 2012 3.33pm
We dropped in on Saturday night on the off chance - and had a great evening there. They found us a table although they were officially full (we had to give the table back within a time limit) and the food was very good (although I would say not quite at Zucca standard - but that is high indeed). And we were very plesently surprised to have 50% off the bill at the end - it was very reasonable at full price.

Quibbles - the music was too loud but they turned it down when I asked, one of our main dishes arrived about 1 minute after the others. Not exactly terrible for what I believe was their third day of being open. I didn't venture downstairs to the bar though.

Decent pizza place? Cafe Amisha on Grange Road - deserves to be far fuller than it usually is. Lovely fresh ingredients, friendly and a Banksy on the wall outside.
Monday 9 January 2012 10.41pm
Well I wasn't there on NYE but I did go to one of the soft launches and I have to say I'm utterly astonished by the opening comments.

Everyone in our party agreed that the staff were surprisingly friendly and chatty. The food was fantastic, the cocktails too (and very strong :-) ) and over all I can see myself going there quite often.
The downstairs lounge bar can't have been that bad, I was there until kicking out time!
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