Rocca – Bradford

Reviewed on September 13th, 2015 by Dina

It was super special when the whole family was able to get together and go out for a meal. Rocca was the perfect place. It gave us good quality food, lovely staff, superb service and a wonderful dining experience. It made us feel like going out for dinner was a special occasion. Rocca let us savour every moment at its restaurant and did not rush us in the slightest.

The feasting began with a range of starters. Rocca gave us focaccia bread and an olive tapenade dip to munch on while we decided on our order. Button mushrooms in a creamy garlic sauce made the baked Funghi al Aglio. The Mozzarella in Carrozza was a big piece of deep fried breaded mozzarella served with a tomato and basil sauce.

The favourite had to be the Bocce Di Patate which were thin strips of fried potato skins; great to dip into the garlic mayonnaise and chilli dip. To complete the starters, a Garlic Pizza Bread was had with the pizza base topped with a tomato sauce, garlic and oregano. All of the starters went down a treat and we were impressed with the food which made us look forward to the rest of the meal.

A couple of pasta dishes were chosen for the mains. The first was the Pappardelle con Agnello. Pappardelle pasta was combined with slow cooked shoulder of lamb. This was a rich meaty dish with a strong depth of flavours coming from the lamb chunks and the tomato, white wine and garlic sauce. The second Rocca pasta dish was the Rigatoni Vegetariana. Roasted tomatoes, grilled courgettes together with a tomato, mascarpone and balsamic vinegar sauce made for a tasty dish with the al dente rigatoni pasta.

The creamy Wild Mushroom Risotto did not disappoint. The intensity of the mushroom flavour came from the mushrooms but also from the truffle oil. Plenty of chopped roasted Mediterranean vegetables and onions topped the Vegetarian Pizza. The base was soft and fluffy and everybody loves a pizza that is made well, just like it was at Rocca.

Rocca also does meat and fish dishes. The Merluzzo Parmigano was a succulent piece of cod which had been baked with a parmesan and herb crust. The sauce to go with it was a roasted tomato one. Fish, parmesan, herbs and tomatoes were flavours that worked well together. The Maiale was a complete dish of pan fried pork loin steak topped with mozzarella, parma ham and roasted cherry tomatoes. Both of the dishes came with sides of potatoes and vegetables.

To end the meal, it had to be the Hot Desserts. A big slice of Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake was rich with the addition of the chocolate sauce. A scoop of ice cream balanced well with the chocolate. A light date sponge with a toffee sauce and ice cream made the delightful Sticky Toffee Pudding. Both of the desserts made a perfect end to this meal at Rocca.

Rocca showed us that all if its food was of top quality and thoroughly enjoyable. The staff were attentive but not intrusive. The dining area has a striking stained glass sectioned ceiling. Brick walls, black and white pictures and wooden ornaments create a warming atmosphere to the restaurant.

There was absolutely nothing to fault at Rocca. It has to be one of the best meals out and the food quality stands out as well as everything else about this amazing Italian restaurant.

Rocca, 1519 Thornton Road, Thornton, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD13 3AS

Rating: ★★★★★

Rocca Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Brocca – West Hampstead

Reviewed on September 22nd, 2014 by Dina

It had been many years ago that I had been to La Brocca and I remember it to have been a lovely restaurant. It was going to be interesting to see if it would still be just as good this time round. The hope was that it would be especially as it was a belated birthday meal for my friend.

La Brocca is split into the bar and the restaurant, with the bar on the street level and the restaurant on the lower level. The restaurant entrance is separate and it is down the steep stairs. The bar was heaving the evening we went and we had to squeeze past the customers to get to the restaurant entrance.

The staff welcomed us into the restaurant and we were given a table towards the back of La Brocca. The restaurant was fairly dimly lit and it looked that the outside area had been decorated with lots of greenery and plants.

La Brocca Pumpkin RavioliLa BroccaLa Brocca PizzaLa Brocca InteriorLa Brocca Mint TeaLa Brocca Interior 2

Pizza and pasta was our meal for the evening and it was all freshly cooked. The staff were really friendly and let us customise the San Remo pizza into a vegetarian one. Originally, the San Remo pizza had toppings of baby spinach, mushrooms, egg and Parma ham. The ham and the egg were replaced with roasted red peppers and onion. A crisp base, an intense flavoursome tomato sauce, lots of vegetables, all topped with fresh baby spinach made this a perfect pizza.

Big pillows of the fresh pasta ravioli were stuffed with the orange pumpkin and served steaming hot. The sauce was made of plenty of juicy cherry tomatoes and was fairly spicy. The sweet soft pumpkin was a great contrast to the spicy heat of the sauce.

Fresh mint leaves steeped in hot water made the mint tea. It was served with slices of lemon.

La Brocca was just as good as it had been many years ago and it seems like this restaurant is a timeless place. It does simple no fuss Italian cuisine with big bold flavours and great freshness.

La Brocca, 273 West End Lane, West Hampstead, London, NW6 1QS

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Ristorante Al Paradiso – Venice

Reviewed on June 18th, 2014 by Dina

The original place that we had in mind was a pizza place called Antico Forno. But when we arrived there, it was a take away place and we wanted somewhere with a sit down dining area.

Antico Forno was visited a couple of other lunchtimes and it did do one of the best pizzas. Big freshly cooked pizza slices with generous toppings and a tasty pizza base too. The hard part was always deciding which pizza to choose as they all looked so good. Sitting by the Grand Canal with pizza from Antico Forno, nothing could be more blissful!

Now onto Ristorante Al Paradiso which was only a short walk away from Antico Forno. Ristorante Al Paradiso was slightly hidden away in one of the side streets but not too far from the main restaurants lining the Grand Canal.

Ristorante Al ParadisoRistorante Al Paradiso SpaghettiRistorante Al Paradiso BreadAntico Forno Pizza CounterAntico Forno PizzaGrand Canal Venice

Hunger had definitely kicked in so we started off with the bread that was given. Unfortunately, the bread was quite hard and a little stale. It was quite airy and there was not much depth to it. The rolls were more like breadsticks. For the main course, the Spaghetti Al Pomodoro was had. It was an average dish. The spaghetti was cooked well and the tomato sauce was tasty.

It was nice to dine outside in the section lined with boxes of flowers. The staff were friendly and service was good. Saying that though, if you are in the San Polo area, it is more worthwhile to head to Antico Forno!

Ristorante Al Paradiso, Sestiere San Polo, 767, 30125, Venice

Rating: ★★★☆☆