In one of the most highly anticipated announcements of the year The Wakefield Express can reveal that the Italian Restaurant of the Year 2018 as chosen by our readers is...Valentino’s!
From the delights of an authentic stone-baked margherita to popping open a cold, crisp bottle of prosecco it seems our love affair for Italian cuisine and culture is as strong as ever.
And this year our readers hold a special place in their hearts for Valentino’s on Leeds Road, in Outwood.
Restaurant Manager Anna Taurel said: “The award means a lot to us and we are very excited. After many years of being here it is great that our customers have recognised us. We are very happy.
“Ingredients are key to our success. We use true Italian ingredients and have deliveries everyday. All our food is fresh and prepared when the customer orders.
“We believe authenticity is very important when our customers come to eat. Our most popular dish is our lasagne.
“On Sundays the restaurant is very busy with families and children. You can feel the Italian atmosphere immediately when you walk in – just like in Italy.
“We recently had the Castleford Tigers come to visit the restaurant with their families and we have a photo with them hanging on the wall.
“We would say to anyone who is thinking of visiting to come and try our food – you have to.”
Voted as runner up this year by our readers is Orlando’s on Wakefield Road, in Grange Moor. The eatery is known for its tasty food but also for the colourful character of owner Orlando Gubbini who is a member of the secretive magic circle.
He said: “It is fantastic news. My wife and I feel very privileged because we are not in the centre of the city.
“Seventy- five per centof our customers come from Wakefield so we are ecstatic. We believe the key is to keep it simple with fresh local ingredients, not too difficult. Good food and good service and people leave with happy faces.
“Everyone gets the best table in the house.”
And third place in this year’s competition went to Bar Bicarri in Horbury. General Manager Will Frost said: “There was a very strong field of restaurants in the competition. Very high quality.
“To come third is still a fantastic achievement and we are very happy to have our customers recognise us in this way.”