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UKDEB
05-14-2009, 05:24 AM
Last Saturday we lunched at Jamie Oliver's new restaurant Jamie's Italian (http://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/) between the Lanes and the seafront in Brighton. I posted this review on another site and I thought I'd share it with you guys, too :).

Despite intentions of arriving before the lunch crowd, we found ourselves rolling up bang on one o'clock. They don't take bookings and we were told the wait would be 45 minutes, but that suited us as it allowed us to start with a drink at the bar.

Jamie's is a casual eatery with eclectic decor and a real buzz. The restaurant is divided into several distinct spaces around a bar and two open kitchen areas, with a further dining room upstairs. A variety of Italian hams hang in several locations and locally sourced vegetables provide a creative decorative backdrop to the appetisers prep area, whilst an impressive machine constantly pumps out fresh pasta. A live video stream of the kitchen is projected onto the stairwell between the two floors and the restrooms are fully equipped with original Crappers™ :teeth:.

A little over half an hour after arriving we were being shown to our table at the rear of the restaurant between the two open kitchens (one focuses on appetisers; the other on mains and that seems to work well in what is an incredibly busy environment). We were all relieved not to have been allocated a table in the "corridor" between the front and back of the restaurant.

Having been disappointed with Aldo Zilli's place when that opened in Brighton a few months back (nice surroundings, but mediocre food and poor service), we were keeping our expectations firmly in check. Given the stated aim of ❝creating a neighbourhood venue, inspired by the "Italian table" where people relax, share, and enjoy each other's company❞, our server's unreserved acceptance of our desire to enjoy our appetisers before choosing our mains, was an encouraging start. After much indecision, we eventually settled on a Basket of Top Italian Breads From My Bakery (focaccia, sourdough country bread, grissini sticks, 'snappy music bread' with lemon and rosemary gremolata, served with single estate extra virgin olive oil and fine balsamic vinegar), Cripsy Polenta Chips with Rosemary Salt, Marinated Sardines and Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers. We took our time sampling it all whilst chatting away and never once felt under any pressure to order our entrees.

I opted for the Ravioli Caramelle (sweetie shaped and stuffed with pumpkin and ricotta cheese and beautiful rosemary sauce) and Matt for the Sausage Pappardelle (slow cooked Italian sausage, tomatoes, red wine, parmesan with crunchy herby breadcrumbs), whilst my brother and sister-in-law went for the Slow Roast Pork Belly (it was a special and I don't remember the precise details, but it was stuffed with something and came on a bed of lentils) and the Lamb Lollipops (they're not on the online menu, but were effectively individual ribs cut from a rack with various seasonings in little pots for dipping) respectively. We also ordered sides of the Chips with Truffles and Parmesan and Broad Bean, Mint, Lemon and Ricotta Salad.

Now on a roll, we all went for desserts and coffee with s-i-l and me both choosing pannacotta and cappuccino, and the boys going for a selection of ice-creams and sorbets with double espressos.

Everything we ate was fresh and vibrant and the ingredients were top quality. The stand-outs for me were the broad bean salad and the truffle chips. The chips were, without doubt, the best I've had anywhere - unbelievably crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy in the middle. I'm guessing they'd been triple-fried (and possibly parboiled first). The only disappointment was the pannacotta which had too much gelatine for my taste - it was closer to being a blancmange than the creamy, meltingly soft confection I'd been anticipating.

Every member of the young staff we encountered was self-assured, friendly and charming. All in all, it was a stellar experience and, incredibly, cost just £110 pre-tip for the four of us.

We didn't have a camera with us, but here are some photos I've managed to find on the internet. Not all of them are from the Brighton restaurant, but they'll give you a good feel for the place.

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii182/UKDeb/Miscellaneous/Jamiebar.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii182/UKDeb/Miscellaneous/Jamiepastamachine.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii182/UKDeb/Miscellaneous/Jamietomatoes.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii182/UKDeb/Miscellaneous/Picture25.png

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii182/UKDeb/Miscellaneous/Picture28.png

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii182/UKDeb/Miscellaneous/Picture29.png

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii182/UKDeb/Miscellaneous/Picture27.png

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii182/UKDeb/Miscellaneous/Jamiecrapper.jpg

mandymouse
05-14-2009, 05:38 AM
Oh Deb, it sounds devine. Italian is my fave food and I know I would enjoy it there.

Thanks for the link :)

natalielongstaff
05-14-2009, 05:48 AM
Sounds lovely Deb :)

saratogagirl
05-14-2009, 06:16 AM
It sound wonderful Deb, I believe there is one opening in Cardiff, I cant wait to try it, Italian is my favourite

Tammy Stringer
05-14-2009, 06:51 AM
Sounds wonderful Deb

I could just eat all that yummy food now!

Tam

jen_uk
05-14-2009, 07:34 AM
Sounds delicious! :thumbsup2

Lizzybear
05-14-2009, 01:55 PM
Sounds great! We saw it when we were in Brighton not long ago but didn't eat there, went to Food For Friends which is about a minute away :)

Cyrano
05-14-2009, 02:36 PM
Deb great review of a lovely experience :)

Especially enjoyable as my DB had planned on a similar experience for his birthday but decided not to bother :headache::faint:

tony64
05-15-2009, 01:45 AM
Your making my mouth water Debs. :goodvibes

florida sun
05-16-2009, 03:43 AM
Great review Debs, sounds wonderful:goodvibes

Minniespal
05-17-2009, 01:35 PM
Sounds fantastic:thumbsup2