Restaurant Review – Pinocchio’s Ristorante & Pizzeria

Welcomed by the charm of a 17th Century listed building steeped in history, we, 3 ladies who lunch, decided to review Pinocchio’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, located in Walton-le-Dale, Preston.

Pinocchio’s is a family run restaurant, operated by the Bragagnini family, whose reputation for delicious, home-cooked, authentic Italian food is very well renowned in Preston and the surrounding areas.

Following a brief walk across Pinocchio’s private car park, a must when wearing heels, we were welcomed into the bar area of the restaurant by a gentleman named Carlo, who offered us drinks and a chance to peruse the extensive lunch menu. Carlo then escorted us to our table in the main restaurant; a big, bright and spacious orangery to the back of the building, which has been sympathetically renovated to complement the original 17th century building.

As previously mentioned, the lunch menu at Pinocchio’s comprises a vast range of dishes and largely echoes the evening à la carte menu. There really is something to suit everybody’s taste; a variety of pastas, pizzas, salads, meat and fish dishes and for the more adventurous, game dishes. All ingredients are fresh and sourced locally as well as from Italy. What’s even more pleasing is that the lunch menu is very reasonably priced, with two courses costing £14.90 and three courses £18.90.  At, this point, I should probably mention the fabulous wine menu. As you’d expect, all the wine is of Italian origin and the wine list features over 50 varieties. We opted for a bottle of house wine, which was light, fruity and very easy drinking but for a more extravagant treat, a bottle of Barolo (Lodali) is priced at £35.

After much deliberation over the lunch menu, our party of three opted for Mussels alla Crema, Whitebait & Funghi Ripieni as starters. For our main courses, we chose Lasagne, Mushroom Risotto & Spicy Chicken.

The service from our waiter was warm, polite and more importantly with a smile. Our starters arrived promptly and were presented beautifully. All the starters were delicious, freshly prepared and the portion sizes were very generous.

In honesty, after finishing the starters, we were all starting to get full and we were subsequently given just the right amount of time to relax and talk before our main courses arrived.

Again, the smell, the presentation and the quality of the main dishes was fabulous and yet again, the portion sizes were plentiful (and we’re woman who can eat, believe me!!!).

Full to bursting after two courses, we were offered dessert, all of which all looked divine.  We decided to opt for one dessert between us (after all, we’re reviewing a restaurant here, so it would be rude not to try one). We settled on the homemade vanilla panacotta served with mixed berries, and honestly this was the right decision – light, vanilla custard-like yumminess with a raspberry compote.

All in all, we were very impressed with Pinocchio’s, from the choice, value and quality of food, the ambience, clean décor, the friendliness of staff and attention to detail.

Our lunch lasted around an hour, perfect for a quick Friday lunch treat away from the office, however, we could have spent all afternoon in the restaurant quite happily.

So in conclusion, if you are looking for a lovely, relaxing restaurant for a laid back lunch, dinner or a special occasion, with some great Italian home-cooked food then this little hidden-gem of restaurant is a must to visit. 10/10.

Written by Louise Welsh