MONDAY nights are often fairly quiet at restaurants after the rush of the weekend.
Not so at Mansfield eatery Il Rosso, which was heaving when we turned up at 8pm.
It’s Monday night Jazz Sessions seem to be very popular and though busy, the atmosphere inside was relaxed and enhanced by the live music.
We turned up a little early for our booking and after a glass of prosecco at the bar, were seated in the restaurant area.
Though the two-course early bird menu was available, we ordered from the extensive main menu, which offers a wide and delicious-sounding choice of dishes.
To start, I had grilled goat’s cheese on a warm salad of lentils, cherry tomatoes and grilled courgettes, which was very good. My husband had the smoked haddock risotto flavoured with horseradish and topped with a poached egg, which was an unusual, but tasty combination.
The portions of both were perfectly-sized for starters.
To follow, I had the Aglio pizza which was topped with roasted garlic cloves, caramelised onions, Parma ham, two types of tomatoes and mozzarella. The pizza was better than most you find in chain Italian restaurants, but was not as garlicky as expected. It may have been better with crushed rather than whole cloves. I also felt there was a little too much of the strongly-flavoured caramelised onion.
My husband’s Duo di Agnello main course consisted of braised lamb’s shoulder and grilled lamb’s kidney. It came with creamed leeks, boulangere potatoes and a rich jus. It was well presented and a flavoursome, filling plate.
With coffees, the bill was good value at around £50. Our only complaint was the waiting time for the food - with nearly 40 minutes between courses. A little more attention from the friendly staff was needed.
Il Rosso, 180 Nottingham Road, Mansfield. NG18 4AF
Tel. 01623 623031