Milano, Arcadian Centre

If you only go to the Aracadian for pre-theatre drinks and nosh, you’re missing a trick. Italian restaurant Milano – opposite Glee – has had a facelift and feels very much a place we want to spend more time.

Two words – garlic bread. We’re just going to put this out there. The tomato garlic bread was the best we’ve ever eaten and while we didn’t sample the pizza, we are fairly confident based on this beauty it would be trippily good. Bags of garlic on a perfect blistered slightly charred base with tangy tomato sauce. Bliss. We could have stopped there, but we didn’t. Instead, we devoured our own body weight in food and booze beginning with the letter ‘L’. Think linguine, lobster, lamb, limoncello…

Aside from the garlic bread there were other highlights, like the lobster linguine which was generously loaded with meaty chunks of the shellfish, a tangy sauce and plenty of herbs. The plate was big enough to feed a family, but that aside it was good.

Lamb cutlets with a fruity redcurrant sauce raised a smile from the carnivore although the mash it was served with didn’t hit the mark. Less said the better. A bowl of mussels with a punchy tomato sauce to mop up with warm bread was a treat and got us wondering why we don’t eat them more often.

A panacotta and a plate of sweet treats including chocolate truffles and gorgeous almondy biscuits were very good. By this point we were hankering after a peppermint tea, but then came the limoncello. It was a Monday after all.

We reckon the manager might be a feeder! He was so warm and generous in that typically Italian way that’s impossible to decline. Well, why would you want to? If you’re after warm friendly service with a hit of personality, stonkingly good pasta and pizza and a good wine list, Milano is the one.

MILANO, Arcadian Centre, Hurst Street, Birmingham, B5 4TD. Tel: 0121 622 3999 milanorestaurant.co.uk