INSPIRED BY TRUE ITALIAN CLASSIC DISHES
Piccolino is the jewel in Ilkley’s restaurant crown! The title befits it not only for its superb Italian food but for its great ambience – for Piccolino’s is a restaurant full of surprises.
Situated in Brook Street, Ilkley’s main street its floor to ceiling windows flood the ground floor with light. The light wood polished tables gleam with sparkling glasses whilst the chairs are some of the most comfortable wooden restaurant chairs you can imagine.
Step up the wooden staircase with its gleaming chrome hand rail to the second floor and you can dine with views of the famous Ilkley Moor in the distance. Venture up to the third floor roof top restaurant and the views over the famous moor will literally take your breath away. This is the place for alfresco dining but it has a fully retractable roof if the weather suddenly turns inclement
It’s not hard to understand why this restaurant is a firm favourite with both locals and visitors to the town alike with its comprehensive menus and relaxed but sophisticated Mediterranean atmosphere.
It was a rainy, cold blustery autumn day when we visited and after all the usual formal Covid formalities we were lucky to be seated at a table in the window where we could sit and watch the world go by.
This restaurant does social distancing of tables so well that you can hardly notice its there at all and maintains all the government regulations that are required.
Whilst we perused the menu we decided to indulge in a sharing platter of classic traditional Italian breads. These came on a board and were hot and beautifully presented with Ciabatta, garlic and rosemary focaccia,and a Sardinian flatbread, which was a first for me, crispy and thin with a basil pesto which had a taste of parmesan giving it a great flavour.
The staff are friendly, but most of all knowledgeable about what they serve and if you want any changes to a dish just tell them and it will be presented or cooked just as you want it.
For my starter I chose Asparagi this came with a poached egg with the grilled asparagus laced with a truffle and pecorino cheese. I asked for my egg well done and it was. The asparagus was tender and moist and the cheese enhanced the flavour of what can be sometimes a tasteless vegetable.
My colleague’s choice of Bruschetta Con Gamberoni certainly pleased. The King prawns were juicy and the chilli and lemon complimented them greatly and was not overly spicey but gave a kick to the dish.
For main course I chose the market fresh fish of the day Dover Sole. I asked for it on the bone and all I can say is the chef cooked this to absolute perfection. It is a difficult fish to cook as it is a thin flat fish and can often come up as rather watery and slimy. But my fish was succulent and tasty with the skin brown and crispy and came sprinkled with fresh parsley. The chef certainly got this 101 per cent right.
Crispy slow cooked duck was my colleagues choice. This was a really generous portion and the meat so tender it just fell off the bone and the spinach was a great accompaniment. The Grand Marnier and Orange Sauce had a strong taste of orange which complimented the meat yet it was not overpowering and fresh orange slices could be found hiding in the sauce.
We shared two side dishes one of house cut chips, hot and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the out and a must-have side dish for everyone eating here Courgette Fries – soft slithers of courgettes in a crispy batter.
Desserts for us came in the form of a Torta Di Passione for my colleague and a Tortino Al Cioccolata for myself.
My colleague’s vanilla cheesecake had a tangy but tasty passion fruit sauce and was rich and creamy but not as rich and calorie laden as my dessert.
I debated for a long time about whether to order this or not and in the end I had no will power and gave in.
The Torino Al Cioccolata is a sweet for the chocoholic. A warm chocolate fondant stuffed with chocolate truffles served with vanilla ice cream – this was my over the top heaven on a plate. Strangely enough it was not as heavy as I thought it would be as the fondant was light and the truffles melted inside rather like a sauce. I did have to do a double session at the gym the next day though!
The restaurant has a very comprehensive menu and have a menu that offers a selection of vegetarian and vegan alternatives to the restaurants classic Italian dishes which is always handy to know.
Piccolinos is a restaurant that fits any occasion from family, business or girlie lunches to special occasion means and its Bellissimo for that special romantic dinner for two or a date night!
Open: Sun to Thurs 12 noon to 10.00pm, Fri & Sat 12 noon to 11.00pm
Piccolinos 31-33 Brook Street, Ilkley Tel: 01943 605 827