Cielo, Brindleyplace

Cielo’s velvet lined walls have hosted many a celebration over the years. Lively and welcoming in a way that Italian restaurants are famed for, it’s a place that makes us feel warm.

A testament to its wide appeal, when we popped in there were groups of friends celebrating birthdays, a newborn baby sleeping in a buggy while its frazzled parents snatched some grown-up chat, ladies who lunch and suits taking a break from the office.

The menu was a big one that required a glass of pinot grigio to navigate. One of us plumped for the set menu (£22.95 for three courses), the other had the a la carte. There was lots that appealed on both.

Soup of the day – broccoli and asparagus – was a bit forgettable, while mushrooms with gorgonzola, herby breadcrumbs and truffle was anything but. Meaty, earthy and rich it was seriously delicious.

A lamb crown wasn’t quite what we expected. It was more like a Barnsley chop. Having said that the meat was very good and perfectly pink, but while the sauce looked like it was going to knock our socks off, it didn’t somehow.

Sea bass fillets were cooked beautifully served with a juicy prawn and a moreish crab ravioloni. The accompanying shellfish sauce had a gloopy texture that was a bit off-putting. It didn’t take away from the loveliness of the rest of the dish, it was just a bit odd.

An oozing scrumptious milk chocolate fondant was just perfect and everything we want from a pud and as you’d expect, the tiramisu was brilliant. Our lovely waitress declared that you can never leave an Italian restaurant without trying the tiramisu and she was right. Dreamy.

The positives outweighed the minor sauce-related blips and as well as being the kind of place we’d happily while away a few hours, it’s pretty good value, too.

Cielo, 6 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, B1 2JB. Tel: 0121 632 6882