“ Address: 59 Baldwin Street / Bristol BS1 1QZ „
In Bristol there are a glut of Italian restaurants but I had to be more specific, it had to be in the centre of Bristol and open on a Sunday evening. Thank God for Tripadvisor! I narrowed it down to 3 and after visiting 2 Guiseppes was chosen, mainly to the the very nice owner, the aforementioned Giuseppe and a private owner. Giuseppe also agreed to make us a £20 SET MENU AND E-MAIL IT TO MYSELF THE NEXT WEEK, 2 WEEKS BEFORE TH ACTUAL DINNER PARTY.
My self and my partner arrived early at 6pm to decorate the table, however out private dining room had been changed for a party the next day. The son of the owner hadn't realised it was a celebration and had set a table for 10 by the front door. They didn't mind at all when we said that one wasn't appropriate and offered to re-arrange the private dining area for us. I should explain the lay out, you initially walk into the lobby and then another set of doors into the restaurant, to the left is the entrance to the kitchen and the bar, to the right is the afore-mentioned tables. Towards the back you walk up a large step where there are another 5/6 tables. Just before the step you can go up another 2 steps and through a doorway, this leads to another bar, the staircase to the toilets and on the left another small dining are through which you go to the private area.
It was in this area we stayed having 3 tables pushed together. Although there were another 3 tables there we would keep the whole area to ourselves. It couldn't be more perfect, separated from the rest of the restaurant, no one to disturb us or us them, no one walking through the area and our own bar.
This was a blessing as our parents were meeting for the first time and they could mingle and chat rather than talk across a table. There wasn't any pressure to sit down and start ordering either. It did eventually happen and we could take a look at the ordinary menu and the set menu they had prepared for us. The set menu consisted of a starter, main, tiramisu for dessert and coffee. Most of us ordered off the set menu which included breaded mushrooms, deep fried mozzarella in a spicy tomato sauce and white bait. The mains included Spaghetti Bolognese, escalopes of veal with a bacon, mushroom and cream sauce, chicken with the same sauce, chicken and peppers in a spicy tomato sauce and pizza. It also included seasonal vegetables.
Whilst waiting for the starter we had some rather tasty garlic bread which went down a treat and there wasn't enough of it!
The mozzarella was fabulous, a thick slab coated in a crust was divine, the spiciness perfectly matched with the slightly blander cheese. My sister asked for her tomato sauce without chilli which she is allergic to, this was no problem and she enjoyed her sauce. Piles of whitebait descended on the table and were hastily munched up. My brothers King Prawns were described as one of the nicest things he'd ever tasted, and my son loved his starter portion lasagne.
Not a single person had anything negative to say about the starters which hopefully bore well for the main course. We waited about 20 minutes for the main course which was just about right, plenty of time for a cigarette, another glass of wine and a chat.
I had the escalope of veal, 3 quite thick slices of veal piled high with strips of bacon, mushroom and the cream sauce. It was heavenly, the sauce was thick, the bacon was salty and I would have been happy with just that, the escalopes just made it perfect, they literally just melted in your mouth. My brother who had the sauce with chicken found it a little too rich. The chicken with pepper was not just chopped up peppers in a tomato sauce. It was strips of cooked orange, yellow and red peppers laid across the chicken breast and then covered in the sauce. The two who had the Spaghetti Carbonara described it as the best they'd had! My son gave his Margherita pizza 2 thumbs up.
The vegetables provided were roast potatoes cooked with red onions, broccoli and sliced carrots. The broccoli and carrots were cooked to perfection, not too al dente and steamed as there was no water in the bottom of the dish. And I'm sorry Mum but these roasters were fabulous, crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside and plenty of them.
Again, its the first time I can remember going out in a group with not a single member of the 10 complaining. Instead there was nothing but praise. Of course there was then the chocolate birthday cake bought out, not made by them but it was rather lovely and I'll have to write a review about it.
Apparently the coffee was rather good as well! Have you noticed that something was left out? Yep, dessert, the tiramisu, we weren't offered it at all. This meant that some of the meals ordered didn't add up to the £20 cost. I will be contacting them to find out why this happened though.
The total cost for 10 people was £206 which did include some drinks, which it has to be said is a really good price even without the dessert for the quality of the food.
The service and staff were also excellent, nothing was too much bother, even adjusting the meals if necessary, taking out various ingredients such as herbs and spices if asked which many places wont do. The waiter heard my brother talking about a lamb dish but not choosing it because he doesn't like rosemary and offered to have it cooked without it.
Fingerbowls of warm water appeared next to those eating King Prawns without asking instead of having to use the napkins. They were also attentive without being annoying, checking if we needed anything without us having to go looking for them. They were also discreet with the bill handing it to my partner rather than on the table for anyone to see.
The restaurant, silverware, glass ware and toilets were also spotlessly clean.
The restaurant itself is nice, it's a discreet entrance, in fact my parents in law didn't even spot it when they first walked past. There's lots of polished wood, red drapes and white washed walls. The tables are set beautifully and the lighting low. There's also no loud annoying music to drown out conversation. The place is also perfect for a romantic date or business lunch.
It was without a doubt one of the best meals I've ever had, everything was perfect and we'll certainly be visiting again when we're back in Bristol.
**Update** Since writing this review my parents visited again a couple of weeks ago and said it was just as good as last time!