Saturday, 29 May 2010

Snack Attack, Nottingham, Saturday breakfast

We were recommended the cafe by someone in a local shop. They weren't wrong. We had a home cooked full English breakfast including everything you'd want (egg, sausage, bacon, beans, mushrooms, black pudding, tomatoes, toast and tea) for a bargain price.

The downstairs is a clean, functional take out area so we were very pleasantly suprised to find comfy leather seats, and sturdy bare-wood tables upstairs. 

They also do all sorts of filled sandwiches etc which look great for lunch and almost make you wish you worked in town.

This one's a real find, definitely recommended. Just don't try to walk quickly after a breakfast, I was so full I nearly had to be rolled back into the town hall square!

The rating:
Great cafe. Everything you'd want from a full English Breakfast (including black pudding for the husband)

The summary:
Food = English - homemade
Price = Bargain (breakfast including tea £3.65)
Atmosphere = Good airy take-out area, but pop upstairs for cosy comfort.

Snack Attack Locksley Catering Ltd
10-12 Carlton Street
Nottingham NG11NN
0115 950 6978

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Piccolino Nottingham

Today marks the return of my usual Wednesday-night dinner date (it's okay, my Husband knows!).

My friend has just returned from Italy, so where better on a dull and rainy Spring day than a taste of Italy?

We chose Piccolino's, on the basis that we've never had a bad meal there. It's a chain restaurant, but with a chic feel, attentive service and tasty food. We particularly liked that our waitress was an authentic Italian native (adding to our holiday feel). It was almost as if the staff were psychic - we were shown to a table with 'sea view'! Really it was a view of a wet square and the trams, but we can all pretend.

There was no overbearing music and a quietly chatty atmosphere, a good place to chat with friends or enjoy a romantic dinner therefore.

We shared a garlic bread, nice crisp base and just enough cheese. For mains we both had risotto (Lobster was the special, alongside a pea and ham one). Sometimes I find risotto to be bland and dull, so that I struggle to finish it. Not today. The flavours were fresh and delicious. 

I could not resist the afogatto for dessert. I am not a fan of coffee, but something magical happens when a shot is poured over good ice cream. To make today's even more special it had the addition of amaretto. The dessert was elegantly served.

The rating:
Good Italian food, in a chic setting. Varied menu changes regularly. Attentive service. Reliable high quality.

The summary:
Food = Italian (pizza, pasta, risotto, meat etc)
Price = Mid price (most mains around £10-£15)
Atmosphere = classy, a great place to enjoy good food and catch up


Piccolino, 7 Weekday Cross, Nottingham, NG1 2GB

T: 0115 947 2169
F: 0115 959 9634

Sunday, 23 May 2010

The Boat Inn, Loughborough

Today we met up with friends in Loughborough. I had picked The Boat from the internet on a Google search, so it was a bit of a random choice.

As it turned out it was a nice spot to spend a sunny afternoon. The Boat is positioned right on the canalside so there is plenty to do if you feel like sitting back and watching the world go by. We saw narrowboats, motor boats, rowing boats and canoes in our couple of hours there.

The menu consisted of pub staples, and a special Sunday roast (choice of lamb, beef or pork).

Our food arrived in decent time and the Sunday lunches were impressive. Hunks of meat, real Yorkshire puddings and lots of extra gravy. Yum. The fish and chips and fishfinger cob and chips were also well proportioned and tasty. Inside the pub there was a special event going on so it was difficult to see what it would be normally like, but the food was good and a bargain price - comparing favourably to Wednesday at 1877.

The rating:
Good, honest British pub. Masses of decent food at a really good price, excellent Sunday roast.

The summary:
Food = traditional pub food
Price = cheap (most mains around a fiver)
Atmosphere = pub inside, sunny benches outside near the water


The Boat Inn
Meadow Lane
01509 214 578

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

1877 Nottingham - Pre Theatre Menu

This is the new restaurant in Nottingham in the place on Canning Circus previously known as Ben Bowers. First impressions are wonderful as it's been redecorated in sumptuous colours and fabrics with wonderful chandeliers that catch every speck of light. The music playing was enough to drown out the fairly busy roads but still quiet enough to comfortably ignore. We had not booked and were seated quickly.

The menu was the before 6.30 pre-theatre menu and consisted largely of gastropub favourites (toad in the hole, fish and chips etc). The table was loaded up with pre dinner nibbles of delicious olive and sundried tomato bread. So far so good! We ordered fishcake, toad in the hole and desserts. I would say that the bread appetiser and my gooey chocolate pudding were tasty bookends to a rather disappointing starter and main. What was most disappointing was that the fishcake was not a fishcake, but was thick batter around a fish chunk with tartare sauce inside and that the toad in the hole was not a toad in the hole but was a yorkshire pud and mash with sausages on top. Call me traditional but sometimes when you order such staples as these, you expect to receive what you ordered!

The restaurant is commended in the Michelin guide, so the main a la carte may be worthwhile trying. Certainly we left feeling physically full for a bargain price, but feeling a little spiritually empty.

The rating:
Great decor, good service, great pud but shame about the pre theatre deal.
The summary:
Food = modern British
Price = cheap (3 courses for two people no wine £24)
Atmosphere = luxe decor, rich colours and chandeliers


My first post - The Black Cat (Scarborough)

As Scarborough is a seaside place we had done the 'traditional' lunch of fish and chips on the front. What we didn't realise at the time was that, in doing this, we had also taken quite a few of the restaurants in Scarborough off our evening dining options!

Luckily I had already booked ahead for the Black Cat, I found it on the Tripadvisor website (rated #1). Luckier than that, the restaurant was also fully booked on Saturday.

The food was attractively presented and tasty. The service was attentive without being pressured and we had plenty of time to talk over dinner and afterward with no pressure to leave. There is a limited selection of wines and spirits, but the owners will do their best to accomodate.

We had a guessing game with our cheeseboard and were correct. I say we, I mean He. We'd gone all the way to Scarborough and ate stilton from around the corner at home! It is very good stilton.

The rating:
Good food, calm atmosphere and reasonable price.

The summary:
Food = modern British
Price = mid price (3 courses for two people with wine £65)
Atmosphere = lovely calm decor, no overwhelming pictures or music. Excellent to talk and be heard.

If you would like to follow in our footsteps and visit the restaurant the details are: 10 Eastborough, Scarborough YO11 1NW, England, 01723 350653.