Casamia★ // Bristol // England

Remember the winners of the Gordon Ramsay best UK local restaurant back in 2009?  Another fabulous set of West Country brothers, cooking sous-vide Italian fine dining.

If you are heading past Bristol, stop in for lunch or dinner and you’ll be transported to Italy for couple of hours.  When you arrive, you’ll walk down a charming outdoor passage, which opens-up to the restaurant.  At the end, a high quality welcome is on offer, with the maître’d welcoming you with a warm and generous smile.

The dining room is superb; expansive tables with classy settings.

The eight course menu is a British/Italian fusion extravaganza.  From the delicate broad bean foam tart; surprisingly light.  To the astonishing well-executed pearl barley risotto, made with a parsley velouté; this risotto is certainly one of the best in the country.

The john dory is also cooked to perfection, though it doesn’t have the best presentation. However, the combination of mustard and cream, with the crushed walnuts works well.

The chefs’ sous-vide cooking of a nice rump of lamb, results is a settled and light flavour, which may make you wonder if you are actually eating lamb; this could disappoint some and please others.  The edgy addition to this plate is a mint leaf infusion melted in a jelly, most likely held together by some agar agar.  As a whole, it is nice dish, but would work better with a stronger lamb flavour.

To accompany your meal is a thoughtful selection of reasonably priced wines, served by an entertaining and well versed sommelier.

Overall, Casamia is a very good experience, with a high standard of service.  The choice of flavour combinations may seem to sometimes push the boundaries of Italian cuisine, but given the results, you wouldn’t criticise them for trying.  The meal will certainly get you talking about the brothers.

One negative note worth pointing out is the level of the bathrooms.  Don’t expect them to be as nice as the dining room.  Some improvements here would bring everything up to a complete one star level.  Though that said, Casamia is worth a detour.

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