If you want to eat great Italian food in a bright and buzzy atmosphere, you’ll be assured of the warmest welcome at Mezzaluna. The spacious restaurant – think urban interior brickwork, visible pipework, and wooden floors, countered by colourful banquette seating and wooden tables – somehow feels like home the moment you step in. They are experts in catering for large parties and are especially family orientated; on the evening we visited there was a baby shower in progress beautifully set up with bunches of balloons and favours on the tables in one corner and a birthday party in the other.
We settled in with a pint of draught Poretti and the menu – I was determined to shoehorn a pizza in somewhere as I had heard they were excellent so firmly told my dinner companion that would be the starter to share, but the choice of pizza was his. There are eleven to choose from; we both liked the sound of Vito’s Favourite : tomato sauce, mozzarella, spinach and cherry tomatoes and egg, but in the end decided on a simple capricciosa with tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham and mushrooms. I always think that spaghetti carbonara is a good test of an Italian restaurant; if it’s done in the authentic way and they get it right I am their customer for life. With high hopes I ordered this and at the waiter’s recommendation we decided to try Mezzaluna rump of lamb on a bed of gratin potatoes with green beans served with rosemary sauce.
We went outside to check out the conservatory area that is being revamped into a kind of inside/outside garden, the roof and windows wind back so it can be open to the elements or closed if at the mercy of English weather. It looks great and will be a marvellous addition to the restaurant space. Walking past the open kitchen we could see the chefs hard at work preparing pizzas which smelled delicious and made us really look forward to eating ours.
The pizza couldn’t have been better, presented on a large plate neatly sliced with a puffed crusty edge and plenty of tasty ham and mushrooms in the middle, we enjoyed every mouthful. Our main courses fulfilled on their promise too; my carbonara was exactly like mama used to make, finished with egg and Parmesan cheese it was a rich concoction of al dente spaghetti tossed in the cream sauce with mountains of crispy bacon at the centre. I loved it and I am now their customer for life! The lamb was delicious, thinly sliced and tender with well-flavoured stock-cooked gratin potatoes.
We had a great evening, the food was memorable, the atmosphere fun and friendly and we couldn’t have eaten better in Italy.
Mezzaluna, 81 West St, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 3NU