Not strictly Birmingham, as in not at all, but firmly in swift commuter territory we went out out in Droitwich. Yes, you read that right. Now the home of Droitwich Dining Club and with a couple of eateries to shout about, the town is definitely on a culinary upward trajectory. We thought we’d pop along to all’Angelo’s second restaurant in the Midlands (the other is in Alcester) for some Italian grub.
Firstly, the historic building the restaurant is housed in is as cute as a button – all wonky angles, beams and low ceilings. Secondly, the owners have been hit with a double whammy of setbacks – the opening date was set to be in the heart of lockdown number… ah forget it, who’s counting at this point? Then when the restaurant did finally open it flooded while full of diners and the chef had to carry customers out into the soggy street. Cue a lengthy and expensive clean-up. It’s been a rough trot, but happily they’re open and busy. It took three attempts to book a table. Don’t they know who we are?
The vibe is rustic and cosy and the staff are all smiley and welcoming with, my mother-in-law noted, ‘amazing teeth, American teeth’ whatever that means. Some of the staff are new and there were a few nerves, but thoroughly charming. From an extensive wine list we chose to slurp a delicious mid-priced Gavi. We feasted on punchy bruschetta – one with tomatoes, black olives and bags of basil and the other, rich with a mixture of mushroom and ricotta baked in the oven. We followed that with melt-in-the-mouth slow cooked duck ragu tagliatelle and a winning carbonara that tasted fresh and authentic with a generous amount of smoky pancetta and a good thwack of black pepper. Dessert consisted of more alcohol.
With hospitality still striving to get back to some form of pre-pandemic normality, this homely family-run place gave us hope and warmed the cockles. Of course, that could have been the grappa…