Da Sandro Pizzeria Ristorante, Halifax Road, Birchencliffe, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD3 3NT.
Halifax Road, Birchencliffe, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD3 3NT, UK
Da Sandro is an Italian restaurant in Huddersfield owned and run by an Italian family, which it is named after. It has been in business for several decades now. The restaurant itself is located off Halifax Road, along with the Briar Court hotel, also operated by the owners of the restaurant. There is extensive parking for both the restaurant and hotel.
The restaurant provides a range of Italian dishes, including hot and cold starters, pasta, pizza and a range of veal, chicken, beef, duck and lamb dishes. There are a range of specials, starters, main courses, salads and desserts. The majority of the main courses are fish dishes. The pasta dishes can be ordered half size for starters, and both pizzas and pastas can be ordered at a child's portion size and price.
There is an Early Bird offer that runs every day of the week (with exceptions for specific days and months), usually at lunch time and early evening, although times do vary from day to day. This is not available on Bank Holidays, Easter Sunday, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Valentines Day or for the entire month of December.
During the Early Bird hours, there are offers on dishes from the main menu, namely the starters, both hot and cold, pizza (including a reduction in the cost of extra toppings), pasta, chicken and veal dishes, with a salmon fillet dish only available from the Early Bird menu. There are also some reduced price side dishes available.
There is an extensive bar area where you can order a drink and, if needed, order your food whilst waiting for a table. It isn't uncommon to need to wait for a table if visited during peak hours. You can have a drink in the bar before entering the restaurant if you don't want to sit at a table immediately. Along with the usual drinks, there is also an extensive range of wines.
The restaurant was visited on a Saturday lunchtime, during the lunchtime Early Bird hours. There were initially only a few tables occupied, but this increased to about half of them by the time the place was left, although the tables were not full in most cases.
The drink ordered was draught Coke, and was as good as can be expected from draught.
The starter was Fresh Mussels Mariniere. This was from the specials board, and is only available when mussels are in season - usually defined as those months with an "r" in the name (e.g. March), although this can vary depending on the weather. As it was a special, it did not qualify for the Early Bird price reduction for starters.
This is a mussel dish cooked in a white wine, cream, garlic and chopped onion sauce. The dish also comes with a basket of sliced crusty bread and butter.
The dish had a substantial number of mussels in it; at least a couple of dozen. It's not unknown to pay a similar price, £7.95 in this case, for only a handful of mussels. There was a substantial quantity of sauce as well; if the sauce was served in a smaller dish it could probably have been classed as a soup in itself. The bread was fresh, and the mussels were very nice.
This was Pizza ai Funghi di Bosco, with a portion of proscuitto ham added. As this was a pizza from the main menu, it qualified for the Early Bird discount. This pizza has a standard tomato base, mozzarella, wild mushrooms sautéed with garlic, herbs and parmesan shavings, as well as the previously mentioned proscuitto ham. The pizzas are cooked in a brick oven visible from inside the restaurant. This was also very nice and a proper Italian pizza, not something you'd get from Domino's or Pizza Hut.
The total price for the Mussels Mariniere, Pizza ai Funghi di Bosco with one extra topping and two pints of Coke was £21.10. This isn't bad for a meal with the quality of food served. With the Early Bird discount, the main course was actually cheaper than the starter. Pub food would undoubtedly have been served faster, but the food here is all cooked to order, and you can watch it being cooked in the case of the pizzas. It's table service, unlike what you would find in pubs and similar venues, so there's no need to leave the table to order more food or drink.
If you like genuine Italian food, this restaurant is well worth a visit, and is not bad value for money, especially when ordering from the Early Bird menu (the times are available on Da Sandro's website). 4.5/5.