Saturday, 22 February 2014

Piccolo Amore: Our First Experience

Nothing Small about the Love in this place xxx

There are some advantages to frequenting a pub on a regular basis in that anything new is discussed and passed on.  The latest item for conversation was about what on earth had happened to some of the regulars deputy regular pub, the Six Bells.  We all know it has been under construction for a long while now.  Yes folks it is an Italian.  Prezzo is safe as it is more of a trendy England/Italian bread sticks kind of place, but the other more rustic restaurant on Sheep Street may well have some real competition now.  

An Italian? I must investigate as soon as humanly possible - which was four hours after discovering they were open.  I love Italy.  The food is amazing, the places I have visited have all been beautiful.  The trick is to go through the pretty back streets and take your pick.  A bit like this restaurant!

On entering, it's lovely.  Ambiance is so important.  Its decor is simple but effective and reminded me of certain eatery's in Sicily - checked table cloths on tables that were well spaced out (no one likes having to share a private conversation with someone you are sat on at the next table), heart shaped bread and wine. The music set the mood instantly, everyone loves a bit of opera mixed with the one and only Italian pop legend that is Eros Ramazzoti - I love a bit o' Eros! All this with the quiet conversation between the staff in Italiano, really made us feel we weren't slap bang in the middle of Bicester in the rain.  

It was only day two of opening for the staff but they knew what they were doing.  Unlike a typical chain restaurant we didn't feel like we were on the treadmill.  This wasn't due to being quiet as there were other diners, it was just another kind of authenticity - the chilled out way!  

We were served complimentary bruschetta with our drinks of which the giant serving of house red was most palatable.  

We skipped the antipasto (but had a good nosey at other peoples choices as you do) and headed straight for the main.  Alex opted for Tonno alla Messinese,  I have to say that it was cooked to perfection, better than a recently extinct grill that we all willed to stay open.  The salad was lovely too.  

I opted for a dish I could directly compare with the other place (and my number one Italian which I shall review next week up North).  The dish, called Farfella al Salmone.  Bow shaped pasta with a luxuriously creamy tomato sauce and small flakes of salmon.  The pasta was cooked perfectly - not soggy where it sticks to the roof of your mouth and not so al dente that Grey Town starts flashing pound signs.  

I know now on my next visit I will be sampling the swordfish dish or the Lobster Pasta. A very lovely, simple meal with no need to ask for black pepper or Parmesan because they were already on it.  

The coffee is good, Alex's dessert of Cannoli (see the picture) and the limoncello rounded off a good first visit.  One downside - no garlic bread anywhere to be seen - please get rid of the chips side and give me some garlic bread even though it's not a staple and true vegetarians would struggle at the moment.  

All in all, great! Very competitive prices, the advantage of being licensed is sure to appeal to all those in search of a non-pretentious break away from the mainstream ... and ... they throw an Italian lesson in for free.  I now know how to pronounce the things I chose to eat! Thanks guys or Grazie che era bello!! (roughly)!!

Book now: 01869 389069 xxx


  1. Where exactly is this JoJo & how's the pricing... Tried Amici for lunch before half term which was nice, you know I've a Prezzo fondness too! So I'd love to try this little gem you've found xXx

  2. Its next to St Edburgs near the wine bar in what used to be the Six Bells - worth a go - Amici's is good but the food has the edge and is not so crowded x

  3. Have they got steak and chips?

  4. Yes they do ... gotta cater for those with a slightly less refined taste bud thingie I suppose - steak and chips would be better in such establishments as erm Wetherspoons! Lol!!