Eating out in Nailsea and nearby

Bardolino February 2018

Brilliant seasonal menu 


It was ladies who lunch during half term when I took a granddaughter Cianna to Bardolino to eat.
Although it was Pancake Day the traditional Shrove Tuesday dish wasn’t on the specials menu prepared by Marco Pierre White who was hosting the theclubandspa midday event.
MPW was rolling out his new menu for the coming season and as the upstairs bistro is more casual than the main Cadbury House restaurant at Congresbury it is the perfect place to entertain young and not-so-young people.

Company chief executive Nick Taplin, club director and former premier league footballer Jason Eaton and Empica pr agency Lawrence Phillips (whose wife Karen runs pottery classes at Backwell) all came to dine while hotel boss Mehmet Kandemir popped in briefly as he was hosting a second evening function with MPW that day.

Newly refurbished the decor with its white subway wall tiles is lovely although the teenagers miss the tacos and TV booths of previous visits and we still laugh about the sharing chilli platter once ordered by mistake!
It now has a comfortable school diner feel with bench seats and long tables.
On arrival I was served a glass of Prosecco which had I not been driving would have been very welcome, so I just let it wet my lips while the food on offer wetted my appetite.
The appetizer was squares of warm focaccia an Italian herb bread made with yeast, warm water, olive oil, semolina flour and chopped rosemary.
It was served with juicy green Gordal (I think) olives. Gordal means ‘fat one’ in Spanish and they are grown in the dry climate of the Andalucía region of Spain.
They were the best I had tasted since Waitrose Nailsea closed its olive bar although Tesco Nailsea serves some delicious olives stuffed with garlic.
While nibbling and pondering over the set menu for the day granddaughter and I wondered how you pronounced niçoise as there were several mentions in MPW’s cook book on the table.
We had to resort to Google to ask for the phonetic spelling so for those who don’t know it is nih-swahhz. You pronounce the s/z sound on the end of this word because there is an 'e' at the end of the word. 

In French, if there is no ‘e’ you don't pronounce the last consonant, we learn. 
Cianna passed on the children’s menu as she was hungry and ordered the burger in a bun. It came more like a burger on a tower, it was huge.
The big beef burger was delicious – sandwiched between Dijon mustard mayonnaise, crunchy iceberg lettuce and the thinnest slice of Dutch tomato with thick battered onion rings – and a portion of chips.
However, the bun with its hard-glazed crust wasn’t a favourite but then we don’t like bagels either.

Some spa ladies sitting next to us also agreed – too stodgy but perhaps body builders using the gym may disagreed.
Coates House at Nailsea also served this bun so could be it is ‘on trend’.
We love continental and Polish bread especially made with sourdough but not big chunks or wedges.
I ordered the salmon which was cooked to perfection on a bed of cannelloni beans and baby vine tomatoes. It sizzled and was scrumptious.
There was a third aubergine dish as the vegetarian option but we didn’t see anyone ordered this.
Saving the best until last the dessert was sublime.
The child plumped for the chocolate brownie topped with ice-cream and chocolate sauce.
I went for the vanilla cheesecake topped with passion fruit sauce.
A family favourite is a mango cheesecake from fine dining freezer at Tout’s Bugden at Wraxall garage and this was on par - no be honest, better. Loved it.
MPW makes regular visits to Cadbury House and was there this week to oversee the introduction of his new menu for his pizzeria, bellini and espresso bar at theclubandspa in the grounds of Cadbury House.
We wondered if the coffee and juice bar being converted from the hairdressers which was downstairs off the foyer would complement or duplicate?
The preview press release said: “Bardolino specialises in authentic Italian cuisine, particularly pizza and pasta, and with its laid-back atmosphere and Mediterranean décor it offers an affordable and relaxed alternative.
“The new-look menu is focused around Marco’s ethos of casual, authentic and affordable Italian dining, while a new set-price lunch and early dinner menus have been added following customer feedback.”
And this is what we tried and can thoroughly recommend.
It added; “Pizza and pasta is still the focus of the restaurant, with burgers – such as the BBQ glazed beef burger with pancetta bacon and blue cheese – and salads – including the roast chicken and avocado Caesar also making a big impression.
“Al Forno pasta dishes are a particularly popular and the stone baked pizzas feature a selection of the best Italian inspired toppings.
“Along with the new-look main meals, the much-loved Bardolino brunch has also had a makeover. 
“From avocado and pancetta bacon to tuscan sausages and baked cannellini beans, all breakfast items are served on toast and available until 5pm.”
Bardolino restaurant manager Murray Whittington said: “We’re excited about the new menu as it features all the old favourites and some show-stopping new dishes to try.
"Our new lunch and dinner set menus are fantastic value for our customers and start from as little as £8.95 for two courses.
“We’re also offering a £10 off voucher when you spend more than £35 on our new menu until Saturday, March 31 when dining from the à la carte menu.”
MPW was delightful as always with the allure of a gungy Lord Bryon - many of his huge black and white photos adorn the stairwell.
He was charm personified with the nine-year-old and took time to decipher aloud his illegible autograph which full of artistic flair like his cooking.

DoubleTree by Hilton Cadbury House has its own page under the What's On section of Nailsea People - to read more click HERE.

Carol Deacon
February 2018

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