Monday, 15 August 2011

Jamie's Italian - Taster Night

Somehow, last week Joe received an invitation to a taster evening at Jamie's Italian in Leeds.  Joe and I are always a little suspicious of freebies and half expected it to be a con where we would be laughed at the door!

Anyway, we gave it a shot and went to Jamie's.  We've never been before.  The queues and the lack of booking facilities always put us off.

But tonight we were welcomed in straight away.  The tasting was held upstairs in a well finished and furnished restaurant.  Jamies is a bit of a tardis, with at least a third hidden away where you wouldn't expect it.  It's stripped back with bare walls and low lighting.  The effect is warm and homely but fun.  They also have some great staff.  It was a free night but they were still welcoming, with good knowledge and great with the food (and generous with the booze!).  They may be well trained in the Jamie-ideal but they still come across as genuinely passionate, despite the random questioning (more later).

So back to the free food....we started off with an amazing anti pasti plate of various meats including salami, garlicky ham, prosciutto, and some lovely crostini, mozzarella and olives. It was meant for four, but Joe and I ploughed through quite a lot of it!

Next up was the slow cooked belly pork.  This pork was cooked for 14 hours, and stuffed and rolled with fruit and nuts.  It was AMAZING.  It's also up on the specials board as a Genaro recipe - for less than a tenner.  A total bargain and probably the best pork I've ever had!

Following on, two pasta dishes.  One raviolli stuffed with cheese, lemon and mint.  To be fair, this was the most underwhelming dish of the evening.  Probably just not my taste to be honest, as it was nice.  We then had pasta with mushrooms.  This is on the main menu and it was brilliant.  It was rich, meaty and really tasty, without being too filling,  Probably the perfect vegetarian dish for carnivores!

A little randomly, we then had fritto misto.  This was a mis-matched element of the night - an odd follow on from a rich mushroom dish.  I'm not a big fan of fritto misto anyway - I don't think it makes the most of lovely fish. Anyway, in the right context I'm sure it would be nice.
Apologies for the rubbish picture - looked a lot better and was brilliantly presented
Last but not least, we had a trio of desserts.  As you might expect,  a few glasses of prosecco down,  I stopped taking in the details.  Anyway, we had some sort of lemon tart, what appeared to be a chocolate and ameretto brownie and a chocolate and espresso tort.  Yum.  All brilliant, and unbelievably we finished the whole thing.
So overall, it was a brilliant night.  Having been a bit dismissive of Jamie's Italian's big brand ways, we've steered clear before.  However, we'd definitely go back.  And definitely eat the anti pasti which would be great with some white wine at lunch, the pork, the mushroom pasta, and all the desserts.  Big win.

All these treats cost us £11.45 - the price of the carafe of wine. 

Also, for info, you can buy a whole leg of prosciutto for around £300.  Bargain. 

1 comment:

littlepatts said...

oh wow this looks amazing I'm so jealous! I visited Jamie's when it first opened and only found it 'ok' but this looks amazing! Obviously ordered the wrong things when I was there!