“ Pastarazzi Restaurant / 29 Grosvenor Street / Chester / Cheshire / CH1 2DD / Tel: 01244 400029. „
I went with my boyfriend and was very much looking forward to eat here as in the past it had been great (past being over 2 yrs ago). We were so dissapointed and wished we hadn't gone. The food was lousy and lacked all the touches to make it tasty. E.g. No dressing on the salad and the salad was squashed and looked like it had been quickly put on the plate from a tesco salad bag. The food was still frozen in parts and even basic ingredients such salt and pepper had not been added. We had 2 starters and 2 mains and all were not good. The service however was good and the staff were attentive but just a shame about the food as I would have preferred vice versa. However, when we got the bill we were a bit shocked to see that they had added 10% service charge, I would have preferred to specify how much tip I wanted to leave and not them. Another thing that shocked me, I orderd an archers with a splash of soda and was charged 1.50 for splash which I thought was a bit excessive, as it was no more than a thumb nail. I would not recommend this restaurant unless they retrain or hire new chefs!
As this was my first Valentine's with my man we decided to make it special. Now don't get me wrong I am not one that pulls out all the stops each year or indeed this year but we as we don't live together we wanted to treat ourselves to a great night out and I had heard a number of great reviews about Pastarazzi from my friends so I asked if we could make the visit there for valentines day. Mark called the restaurant up back on 21 January to ensure that we got a table, as we had never been out for a meal on Valentine's we weren't sure if it would get booked up really early. He called the restaurant and was advised that there were two sittings 7pm and 9 pm so we opted for the 7pm sitting as we both finished work early enough to get ready. I had been told that you could get quite dressed up here and me not needing any excuse to put on my LBD (little black dress) I got even more excited. Where is it located? Located in Chester just opposite Chester Courts. Parking in Chester is renowned to be difficult so my top tip is to park in the courts as there is plenty of room and it is free in the evening and the restaurant is adjacent to the car park. We arrived at the restaurant just before 7pm and we were greeted at the door where we handed over our coats in exchange for a tag for us to collect the coats at the end of the evening already I liked that this was that bit more special than where I had ever been before. We were ushered to our table which was decorated fantastically. Each table had the same layout which was a single red rose laid across the centre of the table, a pink or red menu dependent upon the table you sat , with a satin ribbon in the opposite colour, heart shaped confetti was scattered over the table and waiting was 2 glasses of champagne, fantastic. As we sat down to enjoy the start of our evening we were presented with a canape which was smoked salmon and guacamole inside a puff pastry. It was delicious and was of a 5 star standard. Called the Smoked Salmon and Guacamole Shot.The taste is hard to describe but was delicious and definately got my tastebuds flowing. We were also presented with some speciality breads which were delicious and just enough to satisfy our hunger pains whilst we were waiting for our order to be taken. The waitress was very attentive and came back to remove our plates and take our order for the 3 course meal that was to follow. The staff there ensured that we were attended to and cleared our plates immediately and always ensure that our drinks were topped up. The Choices were:- Sweet potato, pancetts and chilli soup served with walnut croutons, finished with fresh basil and creme fraich Seafood antipasto for two - a delicious selection of smoked, poached and marinated seafood drizzled with lemon oil and finished with roast mediterranean vegetables Warm Gressingham duck confit servied with apricot and roasted fig chutney on rocket and watercress salad, finished with orange and balsamic dressing Butternut squash and a blend of mozzarealla, butter, garlc, sage and lemon zest tossed with cochiglie pasta shells and finished with parmesan. Mark opted for the duck and I opted for the butternut squash option and both dishes were superb and the food was presented fantastically.I had never had a dish before that contained butternut squash and to be honest didn't know if I would like it but it was delicious the pasta was not to filling and the garlic sage was not too overpowering. Mains:- Prime Scottish sirloi steak cooked as you like on a horseraish pomme puree, finished with a rich red wine and shallot jus Maize fed chicken breast stuffed with sun blushed tomoatoes and mozzarella, wrapped in parma ham and servied on a cassoulet of rosemary infused cannelloni beans Fillets of Dover Sole poached in fish broth with Thai style tiget prawns topped with crispy leeks and finished with a saffron and chive buerre blanc Flat mushrooms filled with creamed goats cheese and baby spinach, encased in puff pastry and drizzled with a roasted pine kennel and red pepper pesto. I opted for the chicken breast which was gorgeous the only thing that spoilt the main course for me was the skin on the chicken and the fact it was served on the bone and I am not keen on eating meat off the bone or indeed the skin but all the same the food was delightful. Cooked perfectly and the cannelloni beans were a delicious accompaniment. Mark opted to have the steak which he request as medium rare and said it was cooked well and really enjoyed his meal and had no complaints. The main course came with steamed vegetables which contained Mange Tout, Carrots, Baby potatoes and fine green beans and the vegetables were fantastic in colour and quite crunchy amd there was just enough for the both of us to compliment our meal. Desserts:- Milk Chocolate and hazelnut praline tart made with caramalised hazelnuts and callebaut hazelnut chocolate, served with cinnamon and vanilla creme anglaise Crisp savoiardi biscuits marinated in coffee liquer, layered between a sweet mascarpone cream and finished wit ha dusting of chocolate powder.. A limonchello laced sponge based, topped with raspberry and sweet basil mousse served with clotted cream and winter fruit coulis A selection of cheeses accompanied by homemade fruit chutney, celery sticks, grapes and biscuits I opted for the limonchello sponge which I had some reservations about but it was delicious and I definately made the right choice not bitter and had just the right amount of flavour, mark opted for the cheeseboard which offered really strong cheeses but all the same it was presented well and the combination of cheeses ended the perfect meal. To finish we both had fresh coffee complimented by an orange flavoured hand rolled truffle which was magnificent. The meal was superb and by far one of the best that I have experienced to date and definately plan on visiting again, this was a very special valentines day for me and pastarazzi made my night. The set menu was £50 per person and this included the 3 course meal and champagne reception. We purchased a bottle of Australian Shiraz which was £15.95 The restaurant had really pulled out all of the stops with valentine's balloons decorated around the room, the roses strewn across the restaurant and the background noise of love songs, old and new. I cannot commend this restaurant enough and if you are in the area I really recommend a visit to this resturant, this was a one off for Valentines and the standard menu is much more reasonable but I do advise booking ahead. The restaurant is spotlessly clean and the staff are attentive the whole time, you are not allocated one particular waiter/waitress but are dealt with by all of the staff this is a good touch and all staff were friendly throughout the service which provided them with a handsome tip!!! I would not say this is a family friendly restaurant as it is fairly elegant and definately one for couples, the main menu is not as pricey I do have to say so don't be put off by the price of the menu although I have to admit that we haven't been back since but we will definately be planning a visit sometime soon. Highly Recommended