Certain types of food match up with specific drinks so perfectly that their pairing is almost a foregone conclusion before you’ve even entered the restaurant. Indian? Kingfisher. Thai? Tiger. Stodgy winter pub food? Guinness. Italian? Red wine. However, on this occasion, having already been well lubricated during pre-meal visits to Tier (Espresso Martini) and Saint Bar in the Lace Market Hotel (more Long Island Iced Teas than I cared to count), it felt natural to break tradition with my usual Malbec and see what Piccolino’s cocktail menu was all about.
Kismet, it would seem, had smiled in our favour, as no sooner had we asked the waitress for a cocktail menu that she invited us to join ‘ Club Individual,’ enabling us free-range at their extensive cocktail menu for just £6 a pop, seeing as it was Thursday. One quick filling out of a form later, and the reduced-price drinks were on their way. Grazie mille.
While awaiting my Friends with Benefits (Vodka and peach with raspberries, passion fruit, lemon and pomegranate juice – usually £9), I was pleased to see that Piccolino’s vegetarian and vegan menu was far more extensive than I had expected from an Italian. Vegetarian eating is usually issue-free, but as one of our party was vegan, pizza, pasta and everything in-between usually ensures limited and basic options. But, I’m happy to report, we were both spoilt for choice, having been presented with two full pages of delicious-sounding choices.
We plumbed for a shared tomato and fresh basil pane all’aglio (hand-stretched garlic bread - £5.50) for starters, before choosing a Fiorentina pizza (£12.50) and gnocchi al forno with grilled red pepper, tomato and basil (£11.50). The food was fresh, delicious and quick to arrive and, as the cocktails continued to flow at a steady pace, the entire dining experience was a joy, aided by an incredibly efficient and friendly staff that took care of our every need. It was classic Italian cuisine, done to perfection.
7 Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB