I don’t usually eat Italian out, aside from pizza because I can never get it perfect! But when it comes to pasta I often think I can just cook this myself, so often overlook eating Italian out. But my recent discovery of Buonissimo in Harborne has changed my mind completely.
Nestled down a side street, Buonissimo is traditional Italian eatery that is a staple to Harborne, having been there since 2000. The food menu changes with every season, the produce is fresh and authentic too. I was invited down recently to check out their spring menu, which after having a sneaky look ahead of my visit, looked delicious!
We started with some fizz, because Thursday (?!) and it’s been a while since Little Pond and I had a chance to catch up. To enjoy whilst we perused the menu, we picked the Misto di Bruschette alla Buonissimo to nibble on. Little Pond loved the baked garlic with fresh bread, I was a huge fan of the sausage and cheese bruschetta. It was a good start to the evening ahead.
After being given time to check out the menu (no rushing here!) we had picked our starters. Little Pond picked the Polpette Senza Carne. This was a wonderful dish of parmesan, mozzarella, tomato and basil ball shaped fritters. These were gooey, cheesy and wickedly moreish. Served on a bed of wonderfully rich arrabbiata sauce. Little Pond’s only complaint, she probably could’ve had more… but if you see what’s coming next this is probably a good thing!
My starter was the Antipasto Rustica. A selection of fresh mozerella, tomatoes, sliced meats, roast veg and salad. After the bruschetta to nibble on, I’m glad I picked this. The flavours were fresh and it was very tasty, plus it wasn’t as filling as other starters were. Perfect for the next course!
For the main event I picked the messiest dish I could. FYI – if this is a first date, this might not be the dish you want to order, Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia. This spaghetti dish is made with black cuttlefish ink, garlic, fennel seed and chilli. It was wonderfully seasoned, I loved the spicy kick to it. The whole thing is tossed with king prawns, calamari and baby spinach garnishes the top. The only issue I had here was that the calamari was a little large, I should’ve asked for a knife as I found it hard to chop with a spoon. The waiters gave me plenty of napkins and it was a good thing I wore a dark dress! Haha!
Little Pond picked the Duo di Agnello e Maiale, which looked stunning when it arrived. This dish is a duo of slow roast pork belly and grilled lamb cutlets which are served in a red wine and roast vegetable sauce. The meat was tender, my sister was told it’s marinated for an entire day before cooking and you could really tell. She wasn’t willing to share much! The meat came with these delicious new potatoes coated in herb and bread crumb, just wow. Also there was spinach on the plate, which Little Pond finished… she never eats her greens so these must’ve been very tasty!
We were stuffed, but this didn’t stop us going for dessert! We were given a bit of time for dinner to go down and carry on chatting – just wonderful really, I hate being rushed! When dessert arrived we weren’t disappointed at all. The presentation was stunning! I went with the Torta al Pistacchio, this had the most perfect soft sponge base and had layers of delicious crème pâtissière and pistachio mousse to to top it off. So naughty but wonderfully nice.
Little Pond went with the Tartufo Limoncello Truffle. Basically if you give her anything with Limoncello she will not say no! This was “bomb” shaped ice-cream, which had an oozy limoncello centre and the whole thing was coated with crushed meringue. I’m not the biggest fan, but the bit I was given to try was delicious. Although I definitely won the battle of the dessert with my choice!
You’d be wrong to think that the little things weren’t thought of, for a small restaurant the food was well presented and they weren’t scared to pack a punch with the flavours. The service was impeccable and for a Thursday, an evening that is often fairly quiet, we left a packed out restaurant. It’s quite clear Buonissimo has the seal of approval of those local to Harborne. Will I be back? Yes. Dr W needs to try out the Pork Belly and it’s the perfect excuse to catch up with my sister and her fiancé.
Do you often skip Italian when you head out? Or is it your staple? Have you visited Buonissimo before? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. We were invited to Buonissimo for dinner, we paid for our drinks. As ever, all photos, words and opinions are my own.
P.P.S. Buonissimo is located at 1 Albany Road, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9JX.