We chose the fairly new Piccolino in Bristol for an impromptu after work meal out last night and it was terrific. Freshly cooked, lovingly prepared authentic Italian cuisine with a great wine selection to match.
The first thing that hits you is the chic, upmarket feel of Piccolino. The claim on their own website the restaurants are “inspired by the traditional charm and contemporary buzz of classic brasseries” and this is most certainly true. The vibrant dark green leather upholstery and black marble floor and tables look superb. All tables in the main dining area have a view of the kitchen – the flames soaring out of the pizza oven, the racks of home-made pasta drying behind glass and a beautiful, huge, free standing polished red prosciutto slicer taking centre stage.
If you have visited Italy with children you’ll have experienced the way the Italian people just dote on kids. They love them. You visit any restaurant in Italy and guaranteed families will be dining out together with newborns snoozing in the corner, toddlers babbling away and older kids joining in the conversations. It’s the way families should eat. More importantly the kids are always fussed over.
Last night was one of the rare times I have eaten out with my little boy in the UK where that culture of a real Italian restaurant was so genuinely ingrained. From before we were even through the front door he was being welcomed in, chatted to, smiled at, cheeks pinched, ‘bellissimo, bellissimo’ etc etc. I absolutely love it. He was issued with little biscotti biscuits and cheesy grisini breadsticks to keep him busy whilst we browsed the menu.
The service was superb. Incredibly friendly , efficient, polite, charming and Italian! It is interesting that the staff there are predominantly Italian and they chat, joke and communicate between themselves in their mother tongue. It’s no great leap of the mind to realise this is why the restaurant has such a genuine and authentic feel about it.
Don’t get me wrong – this is not a kids restaurant – it is a very grown up, sophisticated, upmarket venue BUT those with kids are made to feel very, very welcome indeed.
I ate scallopini of chicken grilled over coals with some rosemary roasted baby potatoes and some courgette fritters. My wife went for pasta with a Parmesan cream sauce with carrot strips and broccoli. All of it superb.
Piccolino Bristol – 5 out of 5 stars and fantastic for kids too!!!