This week is a busy one for my family as we celebrate not one but two birthdays right next to each other. With my dad celebrating his 68th birthday (on Wednesday, the day before mine) my step mum and I decided to surprise my dear papa with a birthday meal in Acadian.
Having organised him a trip to see the musical Funny Girl, we decided to pick a restaurant close to the Hippodrome so we could spend more time together before my dad and stepmum took to their seats to watch the production. I’d heard good things about Milano Ristorante Italiano, and despite having never eaten there before, we decided to trust the positive Trip Advisor reviews and chose this Italian restaurant for my dad’s birthday treat.
I booked a table for 5:30pm to enable us to have plenty of time prior to them needing to leave for the theatre, and on arrival I notice this must be something many other people choose to do, as not only was the restaurant starting to fill up (rare for most restaurants that early!) there is also specific pre-theatre menu available.
The restaurant itself is a good size and is a well presented and clean. The crisp white tablecloths have been placed with care and the tablesettings are immaculate. I’m also delighted to see that, in true Italian form, the wine glasses adorning the table are like goblets *pet hate: good wine served in tiny, cheap Delboy-esq glasses*
Awaiting the arrival of the other diners in my party I take in the decor of the restaurant, and realise that despite the slightly dated outward appearance of Milano, the inside is sophisticated and airy.
The list of starters available is small but authentic, with an antipasto platter (love an APP) available as well as a caprese salad (£6.45) which I would’ve opted for but my parents are strapped for time. However, I see another diner eating it and it looks impressive.
The main menu has all the classic Italian dishes you would expect from this kind of restaurant, including the usual pasta and pizza options. As well as the traditional lasagnas, seafood linguini and such, there is also a great variety of sea and land dishes, including stroganoffs, fillets of fish and steak. Having had pizza and pasta more recently, I opt for the grilled salmon with rosemary potatoes and salad.
Drizzled in lemon and olive oil the fish is succulent and very well cooked. The fresh flavours are simple but delicious, and I have a very sizeable piece of salmon (£18.50) which made my heart happy. The salad isn’t anything special but it’s fresh and helps to cut through the rich fish and sauce.
My partner has the chicken stroganoff and risotto which he tells me is well seasoned and tasty, and a decent sized portion again. My dad and stepmum opt for pasta dishes which are very generous (neither managed to finish the heaped bowls) and both are happy with their dishes.
With the spring sunshine beaming through the windows we had a very pleasant experience at Milano Ristorante Italiano. Having seen very little on social media about this place, I wasn’t expecting to be so impressed; my dad was also delighted with the quality of the food and service. The staff were attentive without being intrusive and there was plenty of choice in terms of both food and wine, although my house red wasn’t anything to write home about.
It’s worth noting that the secondary ‘pre-theatre’ menu is reasonable bang for buck with 6 options per course. At £16.95 for a starter and a main Milano Ristorante Italiano is an affordable dining option within a 30 seconds walk of the Hippodrome; perfect for a tasty meal before catching a show.
Milano Ristorante Italiano, Arcadian Centre, 70 Hurst Street, B5 4TD
*Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with any brand/company mentioned within. All views are my own*