Gary Ralston’s restaurant review: Zitto, North Berwick

For many people, North Berwick is one of the best seaside towns in Scotland. For lovers of good food, there are bars, restaurants, bistros, independent coffee houses and even ice-cream shops where you can indulge. Among these, there is Zitto which offers a unique experience in this unique location.

The Italian cooking at Zitto isn’t revolutionary but it comes with a menu that is quite agreeable and easy to choose from. For many people, this is more of a wine bar due to the extensive list of drinks available with 40 red and white wines to choose from. The tapas selection available is quite good but the main focus here is on pizzas and specialty pastas. All these are served in a setting that is casual and relaxed. You get a 50s vibe from the posters and framed pictures on the wall on the best of days.

Unfortunately, on other days, the experience is not what you’d expect from a place with such potential. While the menu promises colouring pads and pens to keep the children occupied, these sometimes don’t come and the staff are a little complacent, taking too much time clear tables and not really bothering to check on the customers during the meal, not even to refill drinks. Communication with customers is poor and you may not be notified if certain items are off the menu on a particular day. The waiters also occasionally get the orders completely wrong.

Luckily, the negative experience isn’t reflected in the food. The Pizzas are homemade and are prepared with thin crispy dough and are well fried around the edges. Toppings include pepperoni, ham and pineapple. Other menu selections are also quite impressive with the Padana proving quite tasty with the shreds of sweet, red onions. One of the specialty pastas is the spaghetti pil pil, which consists of a bowl of pasta that comes sprinkled with garlic, chilli, black olives and baby plum tomatoes. This specialty doesn’t disappoint and comes with a good serving of tiger prawns. The desserts, however, are a little disappointing except maybe the ice creams. The banoffee pie is okay but was let down by the addition of cheap whipped cream and a sprinkling of chocolate powder that made the overall taste a little less natural.

Overall, while the food at Zitto was good enough, the service was severely lacking.

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