It’s a strange feeling walking into Lorenzos, the new-ish Italian pizzeria and ristorante at The Bay. Strange because there’s a mixture of rustic Tuscan-type trappings alongside smart contemporary chic all crammed into one not-all-that-large room, with open kitchen off to the side.
It’s also fairly strange getting there. Driving through the smart holiday village, with its modern estate homes and immaculately manicured lawns and pristine entranceways, feels a bit like stepping on to a film set. Holiday accommodation has (thankfully) come a long way from the Butlins chalets that used to stand there.
What’s immediately apparent on entering Lorenzos is the quality of the interior. Dazzling hanging lightbulbs, handmade in the US apparently, festoon the windows, and the smart deep-olive decor is complemented by nice design touches. It’s pretty compact ... watch you don’t walk into the floor-standing wine rack as you make your way to a marble-topped table.
The open kitchen to the side features a wood-fired pizza oven, and, disconcertingly for us, the single-sheet menu contained only pizzas.
But the attentive waitress (the staff did an excellent job on what was a busy night) pointed out the copper-coloured plaques on the wall behind us, outlining the pasta and specials dishes.
Drinks were bottled – beer, wine or soft drinks – and, soon after their arrival, came the chosen starters.
First up for our party of six was a shareable 12-inch garlic bread with tomato, and an antipasti board, served on a slate platter. The garlic bread was packed with flavour, and the antipasti was pleasant enough.
Of the mains choices, two came from the pizza paper. A margherita, at 12in, was substantial but a little too doughy. And a hefty calzone had a crisp outside with cheese-ham-mushroom inner that seemed a little too oozy-runny.
The wall plaques gave us our other mains. The prosciutto ham fagottini in tomato and basil sauce was satisfyingly tasty, and, similarly, the mushroom ravioli in the same sauce was flavoursome and generously sized.
The other two in our party enthused over the traditional lasagne, served with garlic ciabatta ... meaty and tasty.
Other options on the plaques were lobster ravioli, tagliatelle bolognese, braised beef and Barolo wine tortellini, home cured bacon and mushrooms with pappardelle pasta, and lobster tail salad.
The dessert offerings were from the ice-cream freezer or cakes cabinet.
The large chocolate eclair, and the ice creams we tried – strawberry, coconut and tiramisu – were excellent. A mango and passion fruit dessert with biscuit base and jelly topping was hard and had probably seen the inside of the cabinet too long.
Lorenzos claims to serve up the finest, freshest ingredients, cooked traditionally, and there’s no arguing with the warmth of atmosphere and quality.
A little more choice – in food and drink – wouldn’t go amiss, but it has the makings of a very popular spot not just for the Bay stayers, but from further afield too.
Overall Rating: 7