Sunday, 13 February 2011

Southsea Food Festival 2011

The dates are now in for this years event which will be taking place on Saturday the 18th and Sunday 19th of June 10am-4pm.  It promises to be bigger and better than last years!  Well let us hope so, as I blogged about this event last year after it happened and although it was a good event for us locals to attend, I'm sure if more local food businesses took part it could be a really fantastic day out and put Southsea on the map!

So get these dates in your diary and hope that the British summer is kind to us that weekend!!!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Soprano's - Palmerston Road, Southsea

Last Saturday I thought it would be a good idea to have lunch at Soprano's, so I parked on the seafront, paid the £2 parking fee only to find when I got there it was full, and many tables had been booked!  I was disappointed that on a Saturday lunchtime it would seem you can't just expect to walk off the street and get a table for lunch.  This must be a sign of a good eatery!  I was not to be beaten by this so in the week I called to make a reservation for Saturday lunch.  When we arrived there were several spare tables (typical), although this said, they soon started filling up even as late as 2pm.

The 'Ristorante' looks to have approx. 30 covers, and it appears to have a very loyal customer base.  You get the distinct impression that everyone knows everyone, as the staff were chatting to the customers on first name terms and vice-versa.

It was just a quick lunch date so no starters, snacks or puds - just straight into the mains.  I had the daily special which was pan fried mackerel fillets on roasted baby new potatoes and tomatoes with olives and a caper and lemon mayo at just shy of £10.  My dish was tasty, especially with the lemon in the mayo which really helped to cut through the oily and rich nature of the fish.  A very well balanced dish and nice to also have a few salad leaves on the plate too. 

The other dish my partner ordered was the Polpetti Spaghetti which is homemade beef meatballs with a spicy rich tomato sauce at £7.95.  Both dishes were very reasonably sized portions.  He enjoyed this, I found the meatballs a little dense and solid, rather than being succulent and flavoursome.  The sauce however delivered nicely on the spicy notes.

During Monday-Friday Soprano's offers a lunchtime special which is 2 courses for £6.95.  I would be interested in trying this next time, and would hope that the portions are as good in size and flavour as the full price menu.

I think the main menu is missing a trick - I would have liked to have seen some home made Gnocci dishes and perhaps dishes which feature Polenta (grilled as a starter with Porcini mushrooms for example).  Both these ingredients are very Italian and very current and I feel would make Soprano's even more contemporary and here's hoping!!!!

Would I go again?  Yes - I will be back, if only for the excellently priced lunch menu.

Tip:  Try the salads as every salad that came out from the kitchen looked fantastic!