Taking advantage of the time off work, I planned a trip down to Brighton last week, primarily to see my favourite band British Sea Power. And along the way, sample some of the culinary delights of Brighton whilst in town. And although we were only in town for one night, we thought it would be rude not to!
It was bitterly cold and snowing to boot when we happened upon Jamie’s Italian restaurant (soon to open in Leeds, by the way) just off the main drag in Brighton. It was early doors and although there were only a few tables occupied, the staff were friendly and the place looked the part: rustic and homely, but clearly ‘designed’ to look that way. It was a real lesson in how to make a restaurant that’s not part of a chain, look like it isn’t. Designed not to look designed – whatever next.
We’re huge fans of Jamie’s cooking and use a lot of recipe books very regularly, so I was eager to try his ‘Italian’ out after eating in Fifteen on a number of occasions. The menu looked great and we could have eaten everything on it. We opted for the specials; fried risotto balls (absolutely gorgeous) and a spatchcocked poussin cooked in the wood-fired oven (as lovely as it sounds). The organic house red was perfectly serviceable (it’s decanted into a carafe as it comes in tetrapaks, apparently). Josh had a couple of sicilian beers, which got the thumbs up.
Although it was early doors and the restaurant was quite empty and lacking in atmosphere, we had a perfect dinner and the service was quick, friendly and efficient. This is a well managed and drilled team. I’m definitely looking forward to exploring the menu further when it opens in Leeds.
I thought the prices in Brighton generally were very high, but thought Jamie’s Italian wasn’t actually that expensive, it will be interesting to see what price point they opt for up North.
After a completely racous and bonkers evening watching the mighty Power and then staggering around Brighton in arctic conditions, we opted for a more relaxed breakfast experience.
I had read about a place called Bill’s – actually it’s a food and drink produce store that has tables in there and serves food all day long. The breakfasts are legendary.
I understand that Brighton’s a real foodie place and this place really fits in. It reminded me of places I’d seen in California – it clearly had the food credibility with tons of local produce and a great menu to boot. We were feeling a little fragile after a night on the tiles and opted for the full mashings: ‘Bill’s Breakfast’.
It was as good as it looks too and quickly put us to rights and we felt semi human again. This was probably one of my top 5 breakfasts — and that says something. This was a real find and it’s right in the heart of the cool district in the city and highly recommended for food and produce.
Brighton is definitely worth a longer visit in warmer weather!