Restaurant Review: Friendly staff and generous food portions at DiRitas, in St Ives

DiRitas is situated in St Ives.

DiRitas is situated in St Ives. - Credit: Archant

DiRitas sits in the heart of St Ives, just over the bridge, surrounded by a variety of other shops and restaurants. Every time I have walked past at a weekend, it seemed to be booming.

Inside DiRitas in St Ives.

Inside DiRitas in St Ives. - Credit: Archant

The restaurant itself looks appealing from the outside, with an old traditional Italian theme running throughout the restaurant. When walking into the restaurant, I was greeted by a welcoming face, and was shown to my table. The restaurant itself is a rectangle shape, with a small pillar separating the two sides in the middle. The bar is situated to the left at the back where members of staff serve drinks. The restaurant seats around 52 people overall.

I could not fault the staff, who were friendly and welcoming, with nothing being too much trouble. We were offered bread and oil to start with and then were given the list of specials. The service was fantastic with staff checking up on us regularly making sure we were okay and that we had drinks. We both were welcomed to try the wines from the wine list that was reasonably priced.

The restaurant only has one evening menu, with staff being very accommodating when it came to recommending food. The range of food was good, and was nice to see traditional Italian food on the menu, and written in Italian. It was good to see dishes that I haven’t had before available, which separates it from some Italian chains, which only serve pasta and pizza.

We decided to go for the la carte selection. I had the Bruschetta doppia. The staff were very accommodating and when I asked to remove the artichoke heart, they were fine with it. My guest went for the puff pastry filled with ragú of mince meat and Italian sausage and said it was delicious. The portion was generous, and was just the right amount for a starter.

The mains arrived within 10 minutes of finishing our starters which was just the right time. I asked the waitress what she would recommend and she suggested I try the cotoletta alla milanese, a breaded chicken breast topped with garlic and chilli butter. This also came with a small salad and potatoes. My guest decided to go for the classic spaghetti and meatballs, which she said did not disappoint.

The venue itself was very relaxed, with nothing being a problem. Once we had finished our main course, we were handed the dessert menu. I decided to go for the salted caramel ice cream, whilst Beccy, my company for the evening, decided to have the chocolate cheesecake. The portions were generous, but because they were so delicious we managed to find room in our stomachs to polish them off.

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Overall, DiRitas was a warm, welcoming family-run Italian. The effort and love that they put in into the business shined through their customer service and food and made it a very pleasant dining experience.