Piccolino, Brindley Place

 Having craved weather warm enough to eat outdoors for months, we bit the bullet and checked out Piccolino’s new heated terrace

It was chilly and grey when we strolled in – a tough test. We stoically settled in to a comfy sofa wearing winter gear and looked over the menu.

STARTERS

The menu was full of Mediterranean flavours and the two course lunch was a snip at £13.95. JC plumped for this, while I opted for the main menu. Incidentally, by the time we’d ordered I had ditched my scarf, coat and cardigan. A row of super-charged heaters meant it was actually very warm. After some delicious olives the starters arrived. The burrata was good – milky mozzarella and a panzanella type salad with capers and herby dressing was right up my street. JC’s arancini were crisp, fresh and delicious.

SECRET RECIPE

Although the sea bream from the day boats was tempting as a main, I thought I ought to try the pasta – when in Rome and all that. I chose the spaghetti with clams, white wine, garlic and chilli which was great, but half the portion would have been too much. JC opted for a calzone, which contained a gorgeous tomato sauce coating the tasty meatballs. We quizzed the waiter about how they make the sauce, but alas it’s a secret and all of its ingredients are from Italy. The desserts all sounded delightful, but after two carb filled courses we could only manage a panna cotta with poached rhubarb and an espresso. The creamy panna cotta was light and lovely, the perfect way to round off lunch.

SUMMER VIBE

To sum up Piccolino, the food is tasty and the house wine is really good, but the star of the show is the terrace. The combination of eating al fresco, the warmth from the heaters and a glass of rose made me crave a sunset and Groove Armada. Summer has arrived – in Brindley Place at least.

Piccolino Brindley Place, Birmingham B1 2HS Tel: 0121 634 3055 www.individualrestaurants.com