Monday, 7 January 2013

Piccolino's, Chester

In my last post I told you about the meal we had at Loch Fyne on our first night in Chester. We had researched the restaurants beforehand and fancied Italian on our second night so booked a table at Piccolino's. I don't know anything about this chain or its ethos but the menu looked full of an interesting variety of dishes and they seemed to know what they were talking about.

I would describe the restaurant as very rectangular. Long straight lines everywhere; modern a little Americany but not particularly intimidating. We were greeted and seated straight away and given a selection of complimentary artisan bread. Gav and I had to fight over these as they were soft, fresh and delicious. We also ordered some noceralla olives to nibble on which were a revelation to me. They're a very bright pea green and taste quite mild and buttery. I loved them so much Gav tracked some down for me as a Christmas treat!

I love chicken livers and the starter of Fegato alla crema sounded right up my street, and I was right. The offal was very delicately cooked to a blushing pink and wasn't the least bit rubbery, as liver can often me. The marsala cream sauce was rich and decadent while the green grapes and pine nuts offered little bites of freshness throughout. I loved this combination and would definitly try it again.

For my main course I had the 'Pollo ai funghi'. This was chicken breast with gnocchi, roasted portobello, oyster & chestnut mushrooms cooked in a garlic cream. This was really delicious and the mix of mushrooms added a great earthiness. I'm not a massive fan of gnocchi as they can be a little bit dense and floury, but these were light and tasty. However, this dish was quite similar to my starter so I struggled to finish it which was a bit of a shame. I wonder if any restaurants advise against these sorts of pairings when customers order courses that aren't complimentary?

The atmosphere was lively, service friendly and they offer good value for the excellent quality of food on offer. I really enjoyed my meal here and it rounded off a lovely couple of days spent exploring Chester.

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