Yesterday was our first visit to 'Al Bacio' despite having lived in Bristol for over 20 years. I had heard good things about it, but was worried it wouldn't live up to the hype. However, it did!!! I had one of the best meals out in Bristol and some of the best pasta meals ever outside of Italy! Sadly, I didn't manage to try any of the desserts, but I definitely will next time!!! And I can't wait to visit again.
I booked a table for 6pm and despite arriving a bit early, we were sat quickly. The staff were AMAZING - polite, efficient and friendly. I loved when they said 'prego', it added a lovely personal touch. Inside the restaurant, it has a lovely skylight and it's very elegantly furnished - very romantic for couples!
After giving us time to peruse the menu, we ordered our drinks which came quickly. I ordered a glass of chardonnay and my partner a bottle of peroni, both were lovely and cold. We were asked if we needed some time to look at the menu longer, but we had chosen starters and mains already. We ordered the cheese-topped garlic bread to share and the fried calamari as starters. The wait was very brief and a pizza-sized garlic bread arrived!!! What a big portion! Our plate of calamari arrived too - it was crisp, not at all oily, beautifully seasoned and perfectly cooked so it was still tender! The garlic bread was so tasty and the base was crispy. Delicious!
Luckily my partner helped me finish it, otherwise I don't think I could have eaten my main course. Once finished the plates were quickly taken away and our main course came out almost immediately! I had ordered the monkfish pasta and my partner the seafood pasta. The sauce was beautifully seasoned and had just the right about of chilli without overpowering the fish, while the pasta was cooked al-dente! Perfect! My partner loved his seafood, which weren't overcooked! Absolutely lovely! We would have loved a dessert, but we were too full! Next time!
The owner came and chatted to us, making sure we enjoyed our meal. He is fantastically friendly as are the rest of the staff. They made us feel so welcome and he is rightly proud of them and his wonderful restaurant. When leaving, the owner and his staff talked to us about how it was our first visit and added a lovely touch of saying 'Arrivederci' when we left.
If you like seafood and Italian, I definitely recommend 'Al Bacio'. Wonderful!
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