Eye village finally got its Italian restaurant back as Mattoni opened its doors for the first time last night (Wednesday).
It has taken over the premises in Peterborough Road formerly occupied by Riva - and for 20 years before that the much-loved Ristorante I Toscannini.
Restaurateur Goretti Lobato - who owns a second Mattoni restaurant in Hampton Vale - couldn’t be happier after the reception she says she has received since picking up the keys in early January and setting about a revamp.
“We have been made ever so welcome,” she said, as she and husband Vic and the team made the final preparations yesterday.
“I didn’t know Eye very well, but the feedback has been completely unexpected. People from the village have been coming in, and we have had letters from people too, and they are happy to see the changes we have made and are quite excited.”
She added: “The sense of community in the village is very high and we want to be part of that and to make friends with the villagers.”
Goretti says it is still a work in progress with a few little touches still to be applied, but she was happy how things had progressed.
“What a transformation,” she said, “compared to what it was like when we got the keys on January 6.
“It was quite dark, so we have put a lot of new lighting in. There is a real bright finish and we have used neutral colours, and the bar has been extended. People will love it.”