Carluccio’s!

I’ve never been to Carluccos’s before but I was expecting to be much like any other Italian. I was right, it was, but in a very good way. You can’t beat a good Italian! So sit back, relax, and read on to see what I went for.

I always judge how good a restaurant is on how well they make a lasagne so, because I’d never been here before, I had to get the lasagne. I was very impressed. It looked a bit strange when it came, as you can see in the picture it looks a bit sloppy and like it was just dumped in the bowl, but that didn’t effect how amazing it tasted. There was the perfect ratio of white sauce to bolognese and it was really tasty. The portion size was perfect and the pasta was a nice thickness, because believe it or not I’ve had some very thick lasagne pasta in my time! I’d definitely order this lasagne again, which is a very high compliment coming from me.

I really fancied a dessert that wasn’t too filling but that was a little more than just ice cream so I went for tiramisu. I liked this but I felt that there was a little bit too much alcohol in the sponge, especially the sponge at the bottom, making it very hard to stomach. The cream was delicious though and I just ended up scraping it off and just eating that, although I did eat a fair bit of the sponge. It was very tasty but I think that the alcohol was the main problem.

Zizzi’s!

My family went through a phase a few years ago where Zizzi’s was the place to go. We over did it a bit and stopped going for a while so now it was nice to go back and revisit to see what’d changed. Me and my mum went to the one in Meadowhall just before I came back to university and I love the way that they feel like outdoor restaurants but they’re under ‘the dome’ of the centre. We went for a quick lunch so service was speedy but it wasn’t so fast that it didn’t feel leisurely.

For starter we shared the calamari and the garlic bread with mozzarella and balsamic onions. There was literally so much food to say that they were only two starters. That could have comfortably fed four people I think. The calamari was soft, not at all chewy and had a really tasty batter. The only problem I found was that some of the pieces were really over seasoned so you got a massive hit of salt or pepper. It came with a mayonnaise dip, as this dish normally does, which went really nicely with the squid and the garlic bread. This was literally the best garlic bread I’ve ever tasted. It was garlic-y but sweet from the onions and had a nice soft bread texture that was nice with the cheese. The portion size was huge but we kept it back for the main so there wasn’t much that went to waste. I definitely want to recreate this at home, it would be delicious.

For main I went for the standard lasagne, as this is what I use to test how good a restaurant is. This one was a little bit different as instead of lots of cheese on top it came with breadcrumbs. They added a nice crunch but also a softness which was really nice. It came with so much creamy sauce which is my absolute dream yet there wasn’t so much that there wasn’t enough meat. The only thing was that there was some kind of crunchy vegetable in it which I didn’t enjoy as I prefer everything to be soft when it comes to veg. The portion size was huge and after the starter me and my mum said that we could have shared a main, so at least we know for next time. 

Bella Italia!

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Ah, Bella, how I’ve missed you. I think that, especially when I’m back in the Nottingham, the Bella Italia in the Cornerhouse is one of my most frequently visited restaurants. This is because I know when I go I’m not going to be disappointed. I rarely ever stray from the same meals and every time it delivers. The atmosphere is always buzzing, friendly staff and because it’s right in the city centre it’s a good place to people watch!

For starter I had calamari, which as I mentioned earlier I always have. As you can see from the image above it comes with a lemon wedge, a tomato sauce and a garlic mayonnaise. Both of the dips are delicious and go beautifully with the crispy calamari. The flavour of the tomato dip always reminds me of Heinz tomato soup and is thin in texture which is a great contrast to the super creamy garlic mayo which I think it my favourite of the two. The calamari batter was lovely and crisp, not at all greasy. One of my favourite starters of all time.

For main, as per usual, I had lasagne. There is just something really special about this dish. There’s the perfect amount of white sauce (which is super creamy and well seasoned) to cheese and meat. There’s a little bit of heat that comes from the meat, giving the dish another dimension. I always judge a restaurant on how good their lasagne is, and this is a good lasagne!