If you’re passing through Cleckheaton you can’t fail to notice Aldo’s Pizzeria.

It’s on the main road through the town and from the outside it looks very smart, with canopies over the windows and a big eye-catching logo on the window panes.

It looks very upmarket so I was hoping for something special when I went along on Wednesday evening.

The first thing I noticed was how packed it was. We didn’t need to book, but every other table was full which is a good sign!

The walls are a deep red with soft lighting and the floors are stone and tiles. It’s very authentic and cosy.

We sat down and gave our orders – bruschetta rustica and meatballs to start; pizza along with chicken and mushroom stroganoff for the main courses.

The starters arrived within minutes which was very welcome as we were ready for them! The bruschetta with garlic, basil, fresh tomato and olive oil was fresh; the bread lightly toasted and warm. Very tasty.

The meatballs were beef in a fresh tomato sauce. The melt-in-the-mouth meat was tender, rich and full of flavour.

From the menu of 24 delicious sounding pizzas I chose vegetarian which had a thin, crispy base, and plenty of toppings – mushroom, onion, pepper, olives, spinach and artichoke.

I am a big pizza fan and this was delicious. The base was crispy and there was the perfect amount of tomato sauce, garlic and mozzarella while the toppings were soft but not mushy.

The pizza was fairly large and after the starter I was quite full. However it was so tasty, I didn’t want to leave any so I took it home and finished it off the next day when it was equally as nice.

Vegerian pizza at Aldo's Pizzeria in Cleckheaton
 

My husband had chicken stroganoff with mushrooms, cream sauce and rice. Again, this was a large portion which my dinner guest polished off with relish, saying it was creamy but savoury and the rice was cooked perfectly.

For dessert my guest ordered home made bread and butter pudding which was filled with fresh fruit and nuts and topped with creamy custard and dark chocolate sauce.

It was very large so we decided to share it! It was light, sweet and tasty – and very filling!

Service from the Italian waiters and waitresses was polite and quick but with enough time for each course to settle.

As well as the extensive pizza menu there are 24 starters to choose from – 17 dishes which can be chosen as a starter or a main course, a range of chicken, beef and seafood dishes for mains and eight dishes on the steak menu. There certainly is plenty of choice.

With two soft drinks the bill came to a very reasonable £33.90 and the leftover pizza provided me with lunch the next day!

In all the meal was delicious and the only criticism is that the portion sizes were very large – if you think that’s a criticism! However, with the opportunity to take the dish home it means you can enjoy it again later.

The restaurant was established in 1983 and more recently opened a Prosecco bar and wine cellar next door, which is open until 1am.

An early bird menu is available from Sunday to Thursday at £12.95 for two course and £14.95 for three. It also offers a takeaway service.

Children are welcome and there’s a special children’s menu with five dishes to choose from, including a baby pizza, lasagne, canneloni, chicken goujon and spaghetti bolognese.

The atmosphere was very cosy and lots of customers were greeting the staff like old friends so I think it’s a place people go back to time and time again.

Cleckheaton is not the most buzzing of places on an evening. There are a few pubs and the Aakash Indian restaurant further down the road, but the town centre isn’t that busy after dark.

So it’s testament to the quality of the food, the service and the atmosphere that Aldo’s can fill every table on a Wednesday evening.

The bill

Aldo’s Pizzeria, Central Parade, Cleckheaton. BD19 3RU

Tel: 01274 861508

Website: www.aldospizzeria.co.uk

Opening hours: Monday-Tuesday, 5.30pm-10pm, Wednesday-Thursday, 5.30pm-10.30pm, Friday, 5.30pm-11pm, Saturday, 5pm-11pm, Sunday, 5pm-9.30pm

Children: Welcome

Disabled access: Yes

The bill: £33.90 including soft drinks

Would you go back? Definitely