Enjoy high quality cuisine in family surroundings
I've always been a creature of habit when it's come to Italian food.
My favourite meal has always been spaghetti bolognaise and that is what I've always picked when I've been to an Italian restaurant and even on my first trip to Rome last year, I was tucking into spaghetti ragu near the Trevi Fountain.
However, in the interests of balance for this review, I decided to take myself out of my comfort zone and forgo the usual combination of pasta, minced beef, tomato sauce and a mix of spices and try something else at Rosello in Albrighton.
The restaurant sits on the High Street in the town which borders between Wolverhampton and Shropshire and comes highly recommended, with nothing but excellent reviews on Tripadvisor, and everyone who I told I was going there said: "Enjoy, the food's great".
On the restaurant's website, it says "A little slice of Italy tucked away in the heart of Albrighton, Wolverhampton.
"We’re not just another restaurant; we’re a warm, inviting, family-run Italian eatery that’s all about sharing the love for authentic Italian flavors, laughter, and unforgettable dining experiences."
It made it sound like a friendly, warming and comfortable place to enjoy some authentic Italian food but, as they say, the proof is in the eating.
The restaurant sits in the middle of the main town, near a couple of pubs and shops and with houses nearby and had a warming presence.
On entry, you feel warmer and hear the chatter of the people enjoying their meals. Even on a Wednesday evening at 9.30pm, there were plenty of people sitting, eating and drinking at their tables.
I was welcomed by the main waitress, who apologised for keeping me waiting, even though I'd only been there a few minutes and she'd been busy serving customers.
It had the feeling of a family restaurant, with those serving offering a smile when talking to customers, and I took some time to take in the surroundings, with bottles of wine as decorations and cosy chairs.
I also took time to scour the menu to see what was on offer, with a good range of appetizers and starters, ranging from zucchini fries and garlic bread to deep fried calamari and other types of sea food, from prawns to scallops to mussels and a lambs liver that sounded intriguing.
I did ask about the mussels, but the waitress told me, apologetically, that they were running low as everyone was order them, a sure sign of how good they must be to run so low.
As with spaghetti bolognaise, I am prone to going calamari for a starter, so I moved away from the squid and went for the Capesante (scallops pan-fried with garlic, casa canavel Prosecco, a touch of chilli and lemon juice, baby mushrooms and home-made bread).
It sounded good, but I was expecting a bit more in terms of food when it arrived, with four scallops, two pieces of bread, several pieces of mushroom and an orangey sauce, complemented with basil and a lemon wedge.
However, the trick is "less is more", which I found out when I began to eat as the scallops were soft and flavourful and mixed well with the sauce and mushrooms, with the bread making a welcoming addition as you combined the group together.
It filled a gap, as it were, and was a very tasty and tangy start to the meal, complimented by a bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water. Most people have an opinion of it and I just happen to like sparkling, particularly the good Italian stuff.
Feeling good about that, I awaited my main course, which I took some time over as I wanted pasta without going for my regular.
I like penne and I like linguine and I can take or leave lasagne, but the combination of calamari, prawns and the tomato and chilli sauce in the Linguine Di Mare (Linguine with calamari, prawns, fresh mussels, black olives,cherry tomatoes, garlic and a hint of chilli, cooked in a white wine and tomato sauce) was the winner for me.
Coming without mussels (again, because so popular), but with more springy calamari and chunky prawns, topped with parmasan cheese and swimming in the sauce.
It was another case of "less is more" as I began curling the linguine around my fork and finding that it was a very filling meal, despite not being huge, with the calamari and prawns a welcome side to the main event of the pasta.
I even ate the olives which came with the meal, something rare as I'm not a fan, but the sauce helped as it was rich and just very tasty.
For those of you not wanting pasta, there are other very delectable options, from four types of risotto, meat dishes featuring chicken breast, lamb shanks, duck breast, a seafood stew, two types of steak and, of course, a range of pizzas.
It was an extensive, well-thoughout menu, which spoke of the place as a friendly venue to come and eat and chat and be welcomed by the staff, who were not over-bearing in terms of continually asking whether you were enjoying your meal, but politely asking if everything was ok and if you needed anything else.
For those wanting a drink, there was also a pretty nifty wine list, with sparking, white, red, rose and even a dessert wine, plus a range of cocktails, bottles of beer, fine spirits and soft drinks.
Finally, there is dessert, with options including tiramisu, gelato with limoncello, a chocolate brownie and more prosaic options like ice cream.
I went for the pannacotta, which was passion fruit flavoured and arrived glistening, jiggling sligtly and with a green leaf on top to add to the colour.
It was, I'm happy to say, delicious, being very creamy and mixing well with the sauce and, again, while not big, it was very filling, adding to the meal I had enjoyed.
This is a family-run restaurant which, it would appear, prides itself on making people feel welcome and providing them with a nice meal in good company and, while a little higher priced than some places, you get what you pay for.
I think they do what they do very well and I'd recommend giving them a try. 8/10
Rosello Restaurant, 16 High Street, Albrighton, WV7 3JT
Sample menu: (all details available at rosellorestaurant.co.uk/menu)
Calamari e Fritti - £8.95
Brodo di Cozzi (mussels) - £9.25
Capesante (scallops) - £15.00
Spaghetti Bolognaise - £12.00
Linguine di Mare - £16.95
Salmone al Forno (salmon) - £18.00
Agnello Brassato (lamb shank) - £19.95
Filleto di Manzo (fillet steak) - £29.00
Saute potatoes - £5.00
Rocket and parmesan salad - £5.00
Portobello mushrooms - £5.00
Tiramisu - £7.00
Pannacotta - £7.00
Gelato con Limoncello - £8.00