The idea was to enjoy food the Italian way.
By that I mean Al fresco style, in the sun, outdoors, chatting with a good friend. It is August after all!
The Great British weather had other ideas though, and after raining most of the day, the fabulous outdoor seating area at Jamie’s Italian in Nottingham was damp to say the least.
So we settled for the next best thing; a window seat with a view of what could have been. Umbrellas, designed to shield you from the sun in this beautiful oasis of green away from the bustle of the city, instead dripped with water. It was a real shame because once out there you could be anywhere – but not today.
The layout of the restaurant makes it difficult to see how busy the restaurant is, but in the area where we were seated it was buzzing. Not bad for a Monday night.
We order the House Red – Rosso, a 12.5% Sicilian wine, bursting with ripe plum and cherry flavours at £18.00 for 750ml. I’ve had this before at Jamies. I don’t know whether it’s something to do with the way it’s stored in a a box, but it certainly tastes good dispensed from a carafe.
The menu is pretty extensive but we decided to choose from Jamie’s Evening Menu, a selection of courses which are available Sunday – Thursday from 6pm. You can choose two courses for only £14.95 or £17.95 for three.
We both decided to opt for a plank for our starter. You can choose from six starters on the deal including Fritto Misto, Truffle Tagliatelle, Silky Pate Bruschetta and Buffalo Bocconcini Salad. The Planks can be either cured meat or vegetarian. Both had lots of small tasty pieces with dips and chutneys, so plenty of flavour to enjoy but without ruining your appetite.
A nice quirky touch was the way the planks were rested on tins of tomatoes at the table.
Having polished off the starters, we move on to the mains. Again there is a choice of six on the menu. Italian Steak & Fries, Oxtail Tagliatelle, Sicilian Chicken, Caprese Mezzaluna, British Crab Spaghetti and Classic Super Food Salad.
My friend was being health conscious and so opted for the salad; a combination of avocado, roasted beets, mixed pulses and grains, sprouting broccoli, pomegranate & spicy seeds with harissa dressing & cottage cheese – long list of ingredients and lots of flavour, I know this because she couldn’t finish it. Not because she didn’t like it, but because it was REALLY filling. The angel in me was tempted to order it myself but the devil wanted warm comfort food on a rainy day. Mine finished off, I started on hers. If you think ordering a salad is going to leave you hungry – think again! This delicious salad was both filling and healthy.
I had opted for the Caprese Mezzaluna. Half moons of whipped buffalo ricotta & spinach in tomato sauce with baby mozzarella & basil. A rich, tasty meal with lots of flavour. When the dish was first bought to the table I thought the sauce looked a little runny, but it was fine and I hardly left a drop, though a slightly thicker consistency would have suited me better.
Too podged for puds, we decline and relax with our wine. Our waiter has other ideas and brings us a mango & strawberry organic swirl lolly. I’m not the biggest fan of ice lollies, give me something chocolatey though and I’m your friend forever. Speaking of which, they do offer an Epic Chocolate Brownie which sounds great. Then again, so does the clotted cream panna cotta or affogato.
I’ve got to admit, I have been to Jamie’s a few times and honestly, it has been a bit hit and miss in the past. If it’s busy, and there are two of you, you may find you end up on the little tables that are so close you can eat of your neighbours plate. So, my advice would be to sit outside if you can or try and ask for one of the larger tables.
Food wise, Jamie’s seem to have upped their game recently too. A definite encouragement to go back.
*Jamie’s were aware of our visit and the meal was complimentary. Opinions are my own.
For more information visit: https://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/restaurants/nottingham/