Having 6 children means that one on one time is seldom so when we do have the opportunity to do something special it is a joy!
Having been invited to try the launch of a new menu at Bella Italia and hubby being exhausted from another 3am start he suggested I take one of the boys, we generally work on a behaviour basis and then go from there and Jake has been moved up sets at school due to making a huge effort since the start of school in September so he deserved to be rewarded.
He came in from school and I asked him if he would like to go out to dinner, just the two of us and he was blase about the whole thing but promptly ran off to find his shirt and trousers then spent most of the time faffing with his hair (..yeah, ok, not really bothered mum, whatever!) Typical 13 year old!
We arrived at Bella Italia and were promptly shown our table and asked if we would like drinks, I chose Pinot, Jake coke and I asked how the menu worked and if we had to choose. I was slightly taken aback to be told that no choices were to be made….we would be getting everything on the menu! EEK! Jake is a picky eater so this could prove a struggle!
The first dishes to be brought out were the new starters, Mozzerella pizza bread with garlic and parsley butter and Arancini Funghi, Balls of risotto, porcini mushroom and mozzarella in breadcrumbs with rocket and pomodoro dip. Having never had Arancini before we both chose one each and although a little too sweet for Jake I thought they were delicious! A really strong mushroom flavour which I love and a sweet flavour to the risotto rice. There was more than enough of the Mozzerella pizza bread to share so if that was a starter for one then I would suggest maybe sharing or opting for a lighter main course!
While waiting for our main courses we sat and talked about school, lessons (which he loved and which he hated), Christmas wishlists, how life was treating him in general and it was lovely to just sit and listen for a change, it really made me realise that although we do things with all the children constantly, we need more one to one sessions, this was such a treat and its nice to not have them competing to be heard.
The mains were brought out in 3 large dishes, Pollo Robiola, ‘Sunﬂower’ shaped pasta parcels ﬁlled with Robiola cheese and rocket, with roasted chicken and creamy red pepper sauce, Carbonara, Tagliatelle in a tasty carbonara sauce with crispy pancetta, leeks and pecorino cheese and Panzerotti Funghi, ‘Half-moon’ shaped pasta parcels ﬁlled with mushroom in a creamy mushroom and spinach sauce, with rocket and Granello cheese.
With Jake being picky I presumed he would only try the Carbonara since we eat this at home but he surprised me and tried them all! His favourite was the Pollo Robiola followed by the Carbonara…he surprised me with that one and I think himself too since normally he wouldnt even entertain something different! Huge steps here!
I tried them all and although all delicious in their own rights my absolute favourite, which I have to admit finishing off the bowl, was the Panzerotti Funghi! With an extra grating of parmesan cheese these little parcels were a creamy delight and tasted different to anything I have tried before, quite a dense mushroom flavour (can you tell I like mushrooms!) and the rocket topping gave that mustard kick to make each mouthfull taste slightly different!
Desserts were a trio of shot glasses containing Strawberry Cannoli, Sweet ricotta, candied fruit and chocolate chips with strawberry coulis and a cannoli biscuit, Salted Caramel Chocolate, Chocolate mousse with a salted caramel topping on a Bourbon biscuit crumb base and Orange Cheesecake, Inspired by Sicily! Orange Cheesecake with biscuit base topped with Cointreau orange sauce.
Not being much of a dessert person I gave Jake free reign to dive straight in and of course he headed for the Salted Caramel Chocolate. I could tell as soon as he put the spoon in that it was more a goo than a mousse if that makes sense, it was runny and sticky and everything a caramel chocolate should be. I did try a spoonful of each and have to say the Orange Cheesecake was my favourite but that might have been the addition of the Cointreau! lol
Full up on delicious food and more than happy with how our night had gone we left after filling in a feedback form and headed home…..not without stopping at Starbucks first though.
I’m sorry but no matter how stuffed you are there is always room for a Pumpkin Spice Latte and a Caramel Frapachino as a treat for a successful mum and son date night!
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