Restaurant Review: Rosemarino (1) in Bristol

Friday, 10 October 2014
This is where the fact that I hold on to restaurant reviews for a little while sometimes comes to the fore.  We visited Bristol back in August and we made a bit of a beeline for a few of the places that had come up top trumps in the Bristol Good Food Awards.  In the few days we were there, we managed Wilks, The Swan Hotel (review to follow) and two trips to Rosemarino in Clifton.  Well - after all, it won two awards - one for best breakfast and one for best Italian, so therefore, it deserved two visits.

Also, spoiler, we just really liked it.  So much so that we had to take Mr K's mum with us a few days after we tried breakfast there.

The first visit we made was a beautiful weekday morning.  There were a couple of other tables there but it was pretty quiet.  We were served by one of the three owners who was attentive and took time to talk to every table, including talking to another table about their second restaurant, Rosemarino 2.  It's in a better location for shoppers in the centre.

D was particularly excited about the hot chocolate - properly thick and Italian and a perfect treat to begin our holiday.  It also comes with a hazelnut variation which Mr K greatly enjoyed!

Checking out the menu

So thick that you have time to place your marshmallows perfectly.  I loved the branded cups here too.

I had a macchiato - coffee with an excellent flavour but gone all too soon. 

One of the things that I love about Rosemarino is that their veggie breakfast isn't pretending to be a meat breakfast with a few replacements of fake sausages or pretend bacon.  While I like Quorn, it's great that Rosemarino have thought and come up with completely different elements to the breakfast that make goo use of vegetables and bring them to the fore.  This includes a vegetarian croquette (which I felt could have done with a touch more seasoning), sautéed potatoes, mushrooms, a grilled tomato, wilted spinach, baked beans, egg (you can opt for poached, fried or scrambled), a mini pepper and ricotta soufflé and focaccia toast.  I particularly enjoyed the soufflé and I really love it when spinach is included in a veggie breakfast.  The scrambled eggs were creamy but not in a way that overpowered the egg.

The plate, despite being  full of lots of different components was really well presented and there is obviously an array of colour there, making it good and healthy - or so I like to tell myself.  Portion sizes are just right - although I didn't really need to eat again until dinner, even in my third trimester state.

I also found that they were really good with D.  While they don't have a kids menu, they were happy to provide him with a smaller portion of the scrambled eggs on toast with smoked salmon.  They were happy to do this and provided a good price for this too - some places will still charge full price if you ask for this.

We enjoyed the trip so much that when we were considering somewhere nice to talk Mr K's mum to for lunch, it came up immediately.  We were considering trying the new branch of the franchise but instead we headed back to Clifton.  Unfortunately, the weather wasn't as on our side as it had been on the first visit.  Heading down the alleyway to the restaurant wasn't quite so nice - despite the fact that a very kind woman offered to give me her umbrella!  

This time the restaurant was rammed.  So much so that we weren't sure we'd get a table.  Luckily, there was one available downstairs after a very brief wait.  Given that we were visiting on a bank holiday for lunch, it wasn't astonishing that it was busy.  Service was a little slower this time but given how busy it was this wasn't surprising.  It was still very friendly.   

This time I opted for a cappuccino.  I am not generally in the habit of taking lots of photos of coffee but I did like the heart on the top.  

D was not going to miss out on a second hot chocolate!  This time he had even more marshmallows to play with design eat.  

This time, D and I both opted for the malfatti - a kind of malformed pasta that I might have to have a go at making myself.  This was served with pesto, green beans and purple potatoes.  One of my favourite things recently seems to be teaming new potatoes with other carbs - not so good for the waistline but extremely tasty.  I'm hoping to make a new potato based pizza soon as a result of the Mezzo e Mezzo pizza available at Zizzis.  

Anyway, this meal was just as enjoyable as the first one that we had.  The pesto was vibrant and not too oily and the green beans were served al dente.  Everyone else was pleased with their meaty options.  I may have pinched a little more of D's pasta as he filled up a bit on bread before the meal arrived.  I know that Mr K's mum is going to be going back with her friends, so they've picked up at least one new customer as a result.

We loved Rosemarino on both visits we had.  My sadness is that we won't be able to visit again this year - we've decided that we won't be visiting Bristol until R is a bit better established overnight/older.  More on this in a 'kids' update soon. 

I'd strongly recommend visiting if you are in Bristol - completely understandable that they have received the acclaim that they have.

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