Recommended Eats: Giuseppe's Italian Restaurant serves authentic food in charismatic style

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For the past 50 years one man has been passing on his passion for Italian food to the people and the city he has taken to his heart.

Giuseppe Mascia infectious personality has been entertaining customers for 50 years.Giuseppe Mascia infectious personality has been entertaining customers for 50 years.
Giuseppe Mascia infectious personality has been entertaining customers for 50 years. | Habibur Rahman

Giuseppe's Italian Restaurant in Kent Road, Southsea, is proving just as popular as Giuseppe Mascia’s original Pizza House in Hilsea. The Pizza House became famous for its great food and the owners extravagant and charismatic personality. At 73, the passion and enthusiasm remains from Giuseppe as he welcomes each guest as if they were his family.

The Southsea restaurant opened in 2019 and quickly established itself as one of the most popular Italian restaurants in the city. It is the latest step in Giuseppe’s love affair with Portsmouth and its people, one that he never wants to stop. He said: “I came to England in 1974, I was only meant to stay a week but I fell in love with the city, the seafront, and particularly the people.

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“I set up the Pizza House in 1977 which closed five years ago. I didn't want to retire, retirement is too boring for me. I like customers, I like people, the acting, the singing, playing with the oversized pepper grinders. I know all my customers by name, their personalities. I have seen people grow up, I have families come in where I have served them for two generations.”

The passion to serve and entertain his guests is infectious. You can’t help but have a good time when you are at Giuseppe’s and it is his personal mission to ensure that you do. He said: “The way I look after the customers, the way I approach them, I like to make sure they leave happy. If they are not happy I am not happy myself. If customers are happy then they come back.”

It would be inaccurate to pin the success on Giuseppe’s personality alone, the other key ingredient to his success is the food. The restaurant has a full and varied menu with the classic favourite's sitting alongside more speciality dishes.

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It is not only Giuseppe that says so. When The News visited the restaurant, television presenter Fred Dinenage was having a meal with his family. He had high praise for the restaurant: “We are having the most amazing meal here. This is not only the finest Italian restaurant in Britain but anywhere probably in the world.”

While the restaurant goes from strength to strength, so does Giuseppe’s passion for serving. It is something that he never plans to stop. He said: “I don't see myself retiring, I want to be serving my customers till the end of my life. The customer are like my family, its lovely to be here with them. I want to thank my customers for their support over the last 50 years, I look forward to welcoming you back again.

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