A new Dorchester restaurant opened its doors to the sound of rapturous applause, this month. Al Molo Dorchester, Ristorante Di Pesce, located in the historic Judge Jeffreys Lodging House on Dorchester’s High West Street, welcomed its first diners into the building on the 27th July 2022.
Co-owners Giuseppe Vannucci and Tim Newton were delighted with the response from customers. This is their second restaurant, building on the success of the award winning Al Molo Weymouth situated on the Pier Bandstand, Weymouth, which has become synonymous with the very best of traditional Italian food.
The successful restaurateurs have dedicated seven months to the refurbishment of the listed 17th century building. They have been working sympathetically to restore the original features, previously hidden by years of paint and neglect, and invested heavily in re-establishing the stunning architecture of the building.
Tim Newton, Co-owner of Al Molo says, ”It is humbling to work with a building with such a rich heritage and importance in the town. However with the amount of work that needed to be done and Giuseppe’s treatment for cancer, we had to put back the opening date. With Giuseppe on the mend, we were able to take the time to respect the integrity of this historic building. Stripping back the years of neglect has taken months, but it has been worth the hard work to restore stunning features, sympathetically design the interiors and refurbish outdated infrastructure to reveal a new, functional and rather beautiful setting to enjoy good food”.
The resulting interiors speak for themselves. The decor has a contemporary edge which complements stunning original features, whilst the kitchen boasts a new, modern commercial kitchen.
Tim says, ”The fireplace was coated in layers of thick paint with areas of damaged stone and years of grime. It is gratifying to see it restored to its original glory and it looks stunning”.
It is not only the area that has seen a transformation. Head Chef and Co-owner Giuseppe Vannucci, has created a new menu with a strong focus on the bounty from our local seas combined with traditional Italian cuisine.
Giuseppe Vannucci, Co-owner of Al Molo says, ”The fish from our local waters is second to none and I have been developing these menus over a number of years in readiness for the perfect setting to serve them. They combine the fresh taste of our seas with traditional Italian cuisine. It is a pleasure to bring these new dishes, together with my new vegetarian and meat options, to the table in a setting which complements the quality of the produce”.
There is no doubt diners agreed.
Dorchester Mayor, Councillor Janet Hewitt says, ”This new restaurant is a most welcome addition to the High West Street, not only because it has saved a historic asset in our town from further neglect and is creating more employment opportunities, but also for bringing a quality dining experience celebrating local produce to our doorstep”.
Sandra Jordan from Jordan Jewellers Dorchester told us, “The menu is an absolute delight, my favourite was the seared scallops and the Sea bass fillets, sautéed garlic spinach and raspberry radish. Perfectly balanced, and an explosion of flavour”.
For those wishing to work in the restaurant industry, Al Molo have hospitality roles available and urge those who are returning to the workplace, have just left school or who are looking for a move to showcase their skills, to get in touch.
Tim explains, “As we ramp up business we will be creating further employment opportunities and urge those looking for work in this fast paced and rewarding industry to get in touch now. We offer flexible hours, a friendly environment and fantastic training for those looking to work in our prestigious restaurants.”
Al Molo Dorchester Ristorante Di Pesce (fish) is open for Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm with last orders at 9.00pm. It is open for lunch, Wednesday to Saturday 12pm to 2.30pm and Sunday 11am to 3.30pm. More details and bookings at www.almolodorchester.co.uk/