Restaurant Review: Jamie's Italian

So, how many of us went out for a Valentine's Day dinner yesterday? Normally I hate restaurants on Valentine's Day - the rows of tables for two, the set menu, the cheap plastic roses on the table. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for having a day to celebrate being with someone you love (though it shouldn't be something that's reserved for one day out of the year by any means) but I dislike the identikit nature of it. Happily, my trip to Jamie's Italian in Greenwich with N last night was about as far away from that as you can get.

Unfortunately I didn't manage to get any pictures as 1) it was dark and 2) I felt a bit rude getting my blogging self on on what was technically the first proper date we've been on in ages, but based on the meal last night we'll definitely be heading back and I promise to take photos then! The first thing I noticed on walking in was that it's a really relaxed atmosphere - there's a little lounge area where you can wait for a table or grab a snack from the deli next door, then huge US diner-style booths opposite the bar before walking into the main dining room, which is all tiled floors, Italian-brand bottles of olive oil and tomatoes and a noticeable buzz that still feels relaxed. Basically, it's like eating dinner in your friend's really trendy kitchen, only on a much bigger scale.

Despite my saying I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day set menus, we did end up getting two of the evening's specials, including for our starter. We went for the sharing bruschetta, a lovely mix of prawns, avocado, a little bit of chilli and some really tasty sauce on delicious sourdough bread. I've also heard good things about the arancini (risotto balls) and crispy squid so will definitely be trying those next time we go.

For our mains, both of us went for pasta, which seemed just the thing for a stormy winter's night. N got sausage parpadelle - a lovely warming dish with a ragu of sausage, red wine, cheese and breadcrumbs. I slightly wished I'd ordered it myself (and I'll definitely get it next time!) until my own meal, wild rabbit casarecce, arrived. It was described on the menu as 'slow-cooked ragu with garlic and herbs, marscapone and lemon'. That originally suggested to me a kind of creamy rabbit bolognese-style sauce, but that was about as far removed from what I got as possible. Instead, what I actually ended up with was little curled tubes of pasta with a light sauce and chunks of rabbit throughout. It was still really good though - a fresh, almost summery take on an ingredient that's often seen as more of a winter dish, and I really liked that they did something different with it.

Originally we weren't going to get desserts but I couldn't resist the Valentine's Day brownie. Jamie's Italian does offer a brownie dessert as part of their regular menu, but this one involved raspberry sorbet, crushed amaretti biscuits and nuts, and chocolate sauce. The brownie was really dense and gooey - almost more like a chocolate fondant - and balanced really nicely with the cold tartness of the raspberry sorbet and the crunchy biscuit and nuts. N got the tiramisu which looked absolutely lovely as well.

Grand total: £62.25 for three courses and wine for both of us, which I thought was pretty reasonable. Plus we don't go out for a dinner a lot as we've been saving for what seems like forever - first for travelling, then because we were unemployed, and now for a house and a wedding - so this was a nice treat. I also have to say that the staff were utterly lovely; despite this clearly being one of their busiest nights of the year they couldn't do enough for us and were attentive without ever stepping over into pushy territory.

Overall, we really enjoyed our night at Jamie's Italian and can safely say we'll be back. The food was really good, with fresh quality ingredients used in really interesting ways, and although everything was very simple it tasted absolutely fantastic. Throw in lovely staff, nice wine, a good atmosphere and very reasonable prices, and I can't wait for my next visit.

Did you go out for dinner this Valentine's Day?

2 comments:

  1. I didn't go out for valentine's day as I'm single and more than happy to stay in! I have been to Jamie's Italian before though and really liked it, I went to the one in Birmingham and was really impressed with the food and service.
    Laura x | Life and Lipstick

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    1. Glad to hear you had a good experience too! And I agree, the food is really good. I want to go back already!

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