Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jamie's Italian

11 Black Lion Street

Jamie's Italian is a chain of Italian restaurants opened by Jamie Oliver - there's one in London in Canary Wharf but I've only been to the Brighton branch so far. We were there for R's birthday dinner, and S had actually checked with them the day before about when we should show up to avoid standing in line for ages, since they don't take reservations. They recommended that we show up at 6pm on Saturday, which we did, only to find out that the wait was going to be over an hour. They give out buzzing pagers so you can wander off for a drink nearby, but it was still a bit aggravating. We were finally seated around 7.20pm and while we were a bit disgruntled from the wait, the food quickly turned the evening around. A bottle of Montepulciano was procured, as well as chunks of pecorino and fried squid that was crispy and moreish. For mains, A had spaghetti bolognese, S had penne arrabiata, R had casarecce siciliana and I went with three side dishes - the baked chestnut mushrooms with scamorzza cheese, garlicky green beans with tomatoes and polenta chips with parmesan and rosemary. Everything was fantastic! The pasta was cooked perfectly and the arrabiata had a real spicy kick. I really enjoyed the polenta chips, which were a bit unusual, and the mushrooms and green beans were also delicious. A piece of tiramisu capped off the evening - there was a bit of lemon flavor in it that made it interesting and it was appropriately dense and creamy. Full marks for food; if only they would take reservations...

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