I can’t believe I’ve not been back to Gino’s Restaurant since the wine tasting I did last year! The Mr and I have been planning on popping in for so long but every time we plan to, we either never make it or we forget to book and can’t get in. We popped in for lunch one midweek afternoon, no booking made, and after initially being told there was nothing available - they suddenly found us a table. Well, if I’m getting fed, I’ve going to get a post out of it too!
Back when I did the wine tasting evening down in their Bullion Room, I sampled some of the menu, all of which tasted amazing, but samplers are nothing when it comes to a plateful of food. Their menu changes up seasonally, so we opted for the 3 course lunch menu to really fill our boots and get a taste of what’s currently on offer.
We sat at a very hidden little table at the back of the restaurant under the stairs, it felt really private and I loved how I could people watch around the whole restaurant. I did find it odd that they originally said they couldn’t seat us, the restaurant was, and did stay less than half full the entire time we where there. So if you can’t get a booking online (which is what I had originally tried to do) don’t be afraid to walk up and try your luck on the door, especially during the mid-week afternoons.
Onto the food. For starters, I went for the Tomato Bruschetta (v) - classic tomato and basil on a toasted ciabatta. The tomatos tasted so fresh, it was delicious, light and a perfect starte. The Mr went for the Minestrone soup (v) - chunky vegetable soup with toasted ciabatta (v). It was nothing like any minestrone I’ve tried before, again, really fresh and light and perfect after coming in from yet another cold and blustery Spring day.
We waited a while for the mains but I appreciated the break, chatting and catching up with the Mr over a sparkling rose - Gino’s wine menu is ridiculously extensive, but this one I felt like I remembered from the wine tasting evening and it was very tasty indeed. I’m not usually a rose girl, but this one really hit the spot - just don’t ask me to name it. Bad blogger moment, I failed to snap a picture or note it down!
Mains served up, I went for the Aubergine Parmigiana - buffalo mozzarella, parmesan cheese, tomato and basil pesto. The portion was huge! As light as my starter might have been, even I struggled to get through all of this! It was delicious, every mouthful was full of flavour, lots of aubergine and I smothered every bite in the basil pesto - I’m a pesto fiend these days, I’m obsessed! No complaints here, one honestly hearty, tasty meal. I just wish I had ordered a side of garlic bread - greedy guts much?
The Mr went for the Fettuccine Bolognese - Aberdeen angus beef and pecorino cheese, it was a scrumptious, perfect Italian dish of thick fettuccine pasta and a creamy, cheesy, bolognese sauce. Funnily enough, and maybe it was just the beef, but it had a distinct burger taste to it - this isn’t a bad thing, but it was unexpected. The Mr cleared his plate, so I’d say that makes it a winner from him!
Dessert came out fast, our plates had barely been off the table before they arrived. I went for the Chocolate fondant & vanilla ice cream (v). A beautiful melt in the middle, rich, velvety pud that was more moorish with every mouthful. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, this is perfect.
When in an Italian restaurant, there is only one dessert you will find the Mr ordering, and that’s the Tiramisu (v). I’m pretty sure his opinion of the entire experience rested on this dessert. Talk about a slice and a half, when it comes to portion sizes, they really don’t do things by half! One mouthful in and it was a thumbs up from him. I had to get my spoon in there, and it was delightful. Utterly delightful. Light, spongy, creamy, soaked in coffee, the flavours were bang on. Not going to lie, as much as I was enjoying mine, I was a little jealous!
For 3 courses, it comes in at £21pp, which for the amount you get and the very stylish surroundings, is a great price in the city centre. Like I said, we really wanted to experience a good variety off the menu and this was the best way of doing it.
This wasn’t a PR trip, this was a couple on a little afternoon date, looking for a treat, and finding somewhere they can’t wait to head back to. I love to re-visit places I’ve been to press events for, I’m always eager to know how different the experience is as a regular Joe customer. I’m actually really happy to say the food, the atmosphere and the service were just as good, if not more attentive than when I was a little ol’ VIP guest.
Have you checked out Gino’s restaurant yet?
Until next time,