As someone who chose to get married in Las Vegas, I am no stranger to casinos. After a few g&ts I become quite the Blackjack fiend and enjoy a flutter, but I couldn’t claim to be an expert. With that in mind, I was buzzing to visit the Grosvenor Casino on Broad Street recently for dinner and a Learn To Play gaming session to hone my skills.
Set in the heart of Broad Street, Grosvenor Casino is a popular destination for those looking to play games such as Roulette, Blackjack and Poker, but what I didn’t realise is that this casino also offers a well priced dining experience. Much larger inside than the street front entrance would lead you to believe, an expansive bar and cosy restaurant can also be found within.
Our delightful host, Mark – who has worked at the casino for over 20 years – gave us a quick guided tour of the tables and seated us in the restaurant next to the bar with some drinks. Warm and surprisingly intimate for this type of venue, the restaurant offers a decent selection of classic pub grub style dishes, including steaks and grills.
With the selection of breads, mixed olives and dipping oil delivered to the table we enjoyed a bottle of Portillo Malbec; a delicious Argentinian red wine for the very reasonable price of £23.
A warm Goats Cheese and Beetroot Salad (£4.95) kicks off my meal. A generous wheel of the sharp cheese sat proudly on top of baby gem lettuce, with wedges of roasted beetroot nestled around the edge. The pesto olive oil dressing was a pleasant bonus. A simple but well executed starter, although some mixed leaves instead of chopped gem lettuce would make it feel more special.
With a rich, cheesy entree the Seabass with Baby Potatoes and Tomato and Olive Salad (£13.95) caught my eye for my main. Two lightly fried fillets of the delicate fish arrived with a healthy portion of roasted baby potato halves, and a salad of rocket, diced tomatoes and green queen olives.
It’s quite easy with such a basic dish to make mistakes, but I have to say my fish was cooked perfectly. A large portion and a decent main, although the potatoes did lack seasoning.
After dinner we took a seat at the learners table to get some hands on tuition. Even with my vague Vegas experience (if being drunk there on two separate weekends counts) I was keen to learn some tricks and have a flutter. Thankfully we were given ‘learner’ chips to play with, and it still felt fun to have a gamble.
Our teacher, a lovely chap called Giorgio, explained how the Roulette table works and how to place bets, and we set about trying to win some (sadly fake) money. Varying degrees of success were had, it has to be said.
Tip: betting on your hair colour does not guarantee win; who knew..?
After some gin and tonics, and pressing Sicilian-born Giorgio for his favourite Italian restaurants in Birmingham, we headed over to the Blackjack learners table with Francesco for a mini masterclass in cards.
All in all a fun evening with lovely people and top notch service. The food is more pub grub than fine dining but that’s reflected in the reasonable prices. I wouldn’t necessarily revisit just for dinner but as an overall experience the casino does a good job.
Having visited several casinos in the city centre, this is somewhere I can see myself returning to with friends as it’s has a more pleasant atmosphere. Novices are offered free gaming tuition, making the casino an inclusive and welcoming place for those looking to have a flutter in a safe, pleasant environment.
Grosvenor Casino, Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1AY
*Disclosure: I was invited to attend the evening as a guest of Grosvenor Casino. Dinner was complementary in return for an honest review. All opinions, photos and Vegas reminiscing are my own*