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Jamie's Italian

1 April 11 words: Jared Wilson
We asked the staff and they admitted that Jamie Oliver hasn’t actually been there since it opened
Jamie's Italian Nottingham
Jamie's Italian Nottingham

The nation’s favourite TV chef has his fingers in quite a few pies. TV shows, Sainsbury’s, cookbooks, phone apps, national food campaigns and now a chain of Italian restaurants. The Nottingham outpost opened in February in the Grade II listed former home of Jass Café and Jass Interiors. Downstairs is an interesting mix of traditional British and Italian influences, with the upstairs benefitting from more chic décor.

You can’t actually book a table here unless you are in a group of six or more. If it’s just you and a partner then you wait in the bar until a table becomes free. This might sound frustrating, but it does open it up to the masses and avoids a waiting list that could be months long. Average wait times are around half an hour, although expect more at busy times.

We started by sharing the Italian bread selection (£3.75), world’s best olives on ice (£3.75) and some crispy squid (£5.75). The breads were from Jamie’s own artisan bakery and included sourdough and crisp music bread. The olives were large and fruity, served on a platter of crushed ice with sun dried tomato and black olive tapenade. The squid was delicious, although not that crispy, and came served with garlic, chilli and mayo.

For main course I opted for the grilled Angus sirloin steak (£16.95) an 8oz joint, chargrilled and served pink with grilled flat mushrooms. It was tender and tasty – although it would have been lonely on the plate without the side order of crispy polenta chips (£3.45) and humble green salad (£3.25). My guest had the wild truffle tagliatelle (£9.45), made from finely shaved wild black truffles, with parmesan and nutmeg. It went down a treat, although she did comment on the lack of veggie options aside from pastas and salads. We washed it down with a lovely bottle of 2009 Montepulciano D’abruzzo (£17.90) which had hints of cherry and chocolate.

For dessert we shared the chocolate and espresso tart (£4.95) and special tiramisu (£4.95). The tart was rich and creamy. The tiramisu was light and fluffy with flavours of orange and coffee creeping through.

So how much influence does Mr Oliver have on the place day-to-day? Well, we asked the staff and they admitted that he hasn’t actually been there since it opened. However, they assured us that his mentor Gennaro Contaldo has been heavily involved with staff training and menu choices and, despite the name, this enterprise is actually more like a partnership between the pair. All in all a night out at Jamie’s is a real treat. How do you say “wicked!” in Italian?

Jamie's Italian, 24-26 Low Pavement Nottingham NG1 7DL Tel: 0115 822 1421

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