Whenever a conversation about pizza comes up (more often than is healthy, probably…), a certain friend of ours always raves about Piazza Di Roma at the top of Whiteladies Road. The small, independent, licensed restaurant is somewhere I’ve walked past many a time but haven’t visited till recently until he dragged us and the pair behind the Bristol Eating Adventures blog – up there for dinner one Friday night.
The owner – who is also the head chef – is Sicilian, and has over 30 years experience of running Italian restaurants: a fact gleaned from their website, and one which definitely boded well. The feel of the restaurant when we were shown to the table relaxed us even further: a small but not claustrophobic space (I only counted 24 covers), low lighting and gentle music setting the tone.
The only issue that our group had was with the outside toilet, accessible via a door behind the bar…not ideal on a cold night!
Our waiter was incredibly friendly and polite from start to finish, and we ordered our drinks while we perused the food offering.
I’m really not a fan of the laminated menu(!) but bit my tongue and got on with making my choices. A fairly standard Italian menu – antipasti including calamari, garlic mushrooms and insalata tricolore, the mains predominantly pizza and pasta dishes. At between £7 and £11 for a main, it won’t break the bank – and a special “2 courses for £10” deal from a set menu is an absolute bargain.
I was pleased to see that flexibility was on offer – only two of us ordered starters, but not from the standard antipasti list. I was able to have the bruschetta (£3.95) from the side orders to begin my meal, and a friend was able to change the type of pasta used in his pasta dish.
The bruschetta, simply topped with tomatoes, olive oil and basil, was fantastic. The addition of sun dried tomatoes to chunks of fresh tomato added contrast, and the toasted ciabatta was drizzled with just enough olive oil to add flavour, without becoming soggy.
We’d been told that the pizzas were fantastic,and they didn’t disappoint. I can’t resist the lure of an egg on a pizza (some may call me strange…) and so ordered the Fiorentina (£8.95), a simple yet tasty combination of cooked English ham, spinach, and the egg as the centrepiece.
The stone baked, hand stretched dough was beautifully cooked with a great texture, and the toppings were certainly generous. Much better than the pizzas I’ve had at a number of places in Bristol.
The only real niggle amongst our group was in the time it took to order and to receive our food – and I agree that it did seem that the waiter was holding off from approaching us when we were mid-conversation – but for those of us who had starters, it was a leisurely and relaxed evening.
With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, great pizza and courteous and attentive service, I certainly enjoyed the evening. It’s a shame Piazza di Roma is such a trek from my flat, but I’m definitely keen to head back in the future.
Find Piazza di Roma on the Bristol Bites Directory…