Restaurant reviews are few and far between on this blog, in fact this might only be the second one I’ve done over the years. Eating out has always, up until quite recently been quite an ordeal for me thanks to so many years spent living with an eating disorder but now I’m moving steadily away from that fear there was no better time to receive an e-mailing asking if Ben and I would like to pop along to Jamie’s Italian Bristol
to sample what’s on offer.
I’ve been to a Jamie’s Italian just once before (to the one in Bath) and really enjoyed it but wasn’t very adventurous in my choices. This time I decided to push myself a little bit harder and really embrace the moment. The restaurant is located on the top of Park Street in Bristol, if travelling by foot there really is no better way to work up an appetite than a trek up that hill! We arrived at 7pm to a warm welcome and a relaxed atmosphere and were seated on the second floor in a little booth near the window. The place has a warehouse/rustic vibe going on which we both really liked. The waiting staff were lovely and came over to explain the specials on offer that day and generally answer any questions we may have had whilst managing to not be too in our faces with constant interruptions.
After pursuing the menu and weighing up the options we both decided that we’d go for a starter and a main and then perhaps split a dessert (which as it happens we were simply too stuffed to do!). Although the menu doesn’t have the most extensive choice in the world the things is does offer all sounded pretty unique compared to standard Italian restaurant fare and it took us quite a while to decide!
I opted for the crab and avocado bruschetta which combined fresh crab with crunch fennel, smashed avocado with yogurt and chilli and was pretty delicious! The flavours worked really well together and the fennel added that little something extra. Ben went for the baked chestnut mushrooms which came with the curiously named “crispy music bread” which turn out to be a crispy sort of flat bread hosting the mushrooms and smoked mozzarella. As someone who always orders mushrooms if they are on a menu he was really impressed with these.
Last time I visited Jamie’s Italian I ordered just a small portion of pasta which whilst delicious (with black spaghetti and assorted sea foods) was very much a safe choice for me. This time I decided to throw caution to the wind and went for the chicken cacciatore- a piece of grilled free range chicken, a tomato sauce with black olives and vegetables served on garlic ciabatta with rocket and parmesan cheese to finish it off. This was incredible, perhaps one of my favourite meals over the last couple of years. Full of flavour with perfectly cooked chicken and tender vegetables I’m already trying to work out how to recreate this at home. Ben ordered a dish from the specials menu- a seafood linguine with a lemon butter sauce, various white fish chunks, massive prawns plus clams and mussels (which he asked to be omitted and this was not a problem at all). This looked really good, although the menu didn’t state it’d have whole tomatoes in which he really dislikes but those were picked out no problem. Ben says he really enjoyed this but he did wish there were some slightly simpler menu options available as well as he did find the menu a little bit fussy for his palate.
After demolishing that lot we were too full for dessert but the menu did look tempting with some pretty unique offerings. There are also a huge array of wines, cocktails and coffees available although as we’re quite boring we just stuck with a diet coke each!
Overall we really enjoyed our visit to Jamie’s Italian and I’m certainly looking forward to trying more dishes in the future. Let me know if you’ve been to one before and what else you’d recommend from the menu.
P.s. apologies for the iPhone images- I’m no good at lugging my camera around! Whilst we were guests of Jamie’s Italian for the evening all thoughts and opinions are honest and genuine.