Thursday, 21 July 2016

New lunch menu at Jamie's Italian

I was recently asked to try the new 'super lunch' menu at Jamie's Italian on George Street. I say recently, it was nearly two months ago so this is an embarrassingly late write up! But better late than never right?! As luck would have it, hubbys birthday was around the time we were going so the four of us trooped along for an early tea (the lunch menu is served 12-6pm Mon to Friday). 

Straight away we were shown to our table and Paige was handed a kids 'little pack of fun' to keep her occupied. I always breathe a little sigh of relief when I see one of these on the table! It was a good one and even had a little packet of seeds to take away - cool huh?! 

It was 5pm and the lunch menu wasn't out so we did have to specifically ask for it. Hubby and I both dined from this menu and Paige from the kids menu, which I was pleased to see had lots of healthy and yummy options for her. She chose the 'secret seven' hidden veg pasta with a side salad and she loved it. 

I was also pleased that they offer free "fruity water" too so she wasn't high on sugar all evening! She thought she was very grown up. My only comment would be a plastic cup might have been more suitable for a 2 year old as we spent half our time making sure she didn't drop it! 

As the driver, I had a very tasty non alcoholic Mojito.

Being the greedy people we are, we had to order a cheeky wee side of the Italian Nachos - crispy fried ravioli stuffed with mozarella - delicious! I think Paige ate most of them...

We both went for the pate bruschetta to start which was absolutely delicious - up there with the best I've tasted. My pictures really don't do it justice as I was trying to feed Harrison (now 6 months) at the same time!

Scott then went for the Italian Steak and Fries which he enjoyed. It was simple and done well. 

I had a sadly disappointing pesto spaghetti (which I can't find on the menu now so don't know it's proper name) but it was all stuck together in a big dry clump with lots of lemons! It had nice flavour but had maybe been sitting around too long...

Pudding was a winner with us both going for the epic brownie. Super gooey and chocolatey as it should be. After being offered a selection of desserts to be told the chocolate ice lollie she wanted then wasn't available she 'settled' (aka had a total meltdown!) for the chocolate ice cream (have you ever tried explaining to a toddler that chocolate ice cream is the same as a chocolate ice lollie?! Clearly as its not on a stick it's just not the saaaaaaaame!) Just another little comment - check what's available before offering it to a 2 year old. It sounds ridiculous but an inconsolable child can really put a dampener on an otherwise lovely evening! Although maybe this just says more about my lack of parenting skills! 😳

So all in all it was a nice meal and good value for money. It's a stunning restaurant in Assembly Rooms and the service was good. Other than my little moans, it is very child friendly but also big enough to be far away from kids to enjoy a romantic dinner too. Not that I can remember what that's like!!! 😄

Jamie's Italian is located in The Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street. The super lunch menu is £12.95 for two courses or £14.95 for three and is available 12-6pm Monday to Friday. 

Thanks to Jamie's Italian for covering the cost of our food. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

La Belle Assiette - A night in with friends

Those of you who know me, or read my blog from time to time, will know I have 2 young children (2 year old girl and a 4 month baby boy). I absolutely LOVE being a mum, but one of the things I miss most about "life before kids" is having dinner out with friends - eating good food, drinking lots of wine and talking absolute nonsense! So you can imagine my utter delight when I received an email from La Belle Assiette inviting me to host a dinner party with friends in my home...and have an Italian chef come and cook a 3 course meal for us. A no brainer! 

So, on Friday evening that's just what we did. Our chef for the evening was Marco Scire who turned up carrying several bags bursting with lovely fresh food and importantly a bottle of Prosecco! Off he set to work in the kitchen while we welcomed 4 of our very best friends (plus a new addition to the gang who came for a sleepover!) for drinks in the living room. 

And this is where having a chef at home is a huge plus for us. We didn't need a babysitter and we could provide our own drinks making it easy, relaxed and affordable. I also didn't have to spend the day prepping and cooking. Another bonus for me having young kids. 

We started our dinner with an aperitif of Aperol Spritz with Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper twists which got us in the mood for a fun night. 

Amazing smells were coming from my kitchen (way better than usual!) so I went to investigate and found Chef plating up our starter of Grilled Polenta, asparagus, squashed cherry tomatoes with olives and a balsamic and truffle reduction. 

It was a beautiful bright summery plate and deliciously light starter:

More amazing smells, this time in the form of lamb rump marinaded in pomegranate molasses served with roasted vegetables and salsa verde. It was truly some of the best lamb I've tasted and this was echoed around the table (and my dad is a lamb farmer so that's saying a lot!) It was served medium rare which suited us all, however, we were given the choice to have it cooked more. 

Full to the brim with delicious food and wine, I ventured back into the kitchen to have a nosey at what was next. (Greedy some might say!?) We were presented with a beautifully light panacotta with salted caramel popcorn. It finished off the meal perfectly. 

With prices starting at £39pp La Belle Assiette is a great option for a different way of dining with friends or family. We had such a brilliant night in the comfort of our home and it freed me up to join in the conversation rather than running back and forward to the kitchen all evening. And as if all that wasn't enough, Marco cleaned the kitchen and did the dishes - what's not to love!! We will definitely be doing this again. 

With thanks to Chef Marco and La Belle Assiette for a lovely evening.

Friday, 1 April 2016

New(ington) kid on the block

Sadly I was unable to make it along to the bloggers event of new restaurant and bar Southpour on Newington Road. Judging by their Twitter feed photos it looked like I missed a fab afternoon!  However, I went along with my family on opening day to try it out and I'm glad I did. News of the new arrival had clearly spread as it was packed and buzzing when we arrived - thankfully we booked a  table. The staff must have thought I'd been sent to test them as I arrived with hubby, toddler and a 2 month old baby! 

We were shown to our table by our friendly waiter who kindly gave Paige some lovely brand new toys and books. A huge big 'tick' from me straight away. 

Coffee was good!

Paige's starter was a mug of delicious homemade mushroom and sweet potato soup. Finally! A kids menu that doesn't consist of chicken nuggets.

Paige's Fish & Chips with mushy peas was lovely (and I don't really like fish!). Fresh and light crispy batter. 

My Macaroni Cheese with n'duja sausage was cheesy, spicy and creamy - delicious. 

Hubby went for the steak sandwich and added a mug of soup. Yum! 

As if we didn't have enough to eat we got some potato skins with haggis and cheese. What's not to like?! 

If you're looking for a family friendly lunch spot or after work drinks, this new addition gets my thumbs up. With weekend entertainment and lunch deals from £5 I'm sure Southpour will do great in its new home. 

1-5 Newington Road