This long running and popular independent family run Italian restaurant has been a stalwart of the St. Paul’s area of Birmingham for a couple of decades, ideally located around the corner from the vibrant Jewellery Quarter district.
Its location favours a more laid back dining experience, including easy on road parking and being situated slightly away from the busy city centre, Pasta Di Piazza has a varied and quite large menu including pasta dishes, antipasti, platters, pizza and insalata, with additional specials that vary daily.
For this review, the Avocado Con Gamberetti starter was chosen, with fresh sliced avocado and prawns with the old school but very enjoyable Marie Rose sauce, which was then followed with one of the specials. The Special dish was quite an elaborate affair consisting of monkfish, king prawns, mussels, clams, croutes, a tomato sauce, with a hint of chilli, garlic and lobster bisque and salad leaves.
All the seafood was excellent and the tangy sauce provided a perfect accompaniment. An additional vegetable side dish of broccoli, beans, carrots and potatoes further supplemented the meal.
Everything was cooked perfectly, fresh, presented well and the excellent staff being helpful throughout the evening, including an ideal house white being suggested that possessed a hint of lemon which ideally suited the monkfish. Our plates were cleared and a Sticky Toffee Pudding was served, from again, an extensive dessert menu, which was unashamedly rich and rounded off an impeccable meal.
Pasta Di Piazza has a very friendly atmosphere with a varied clientele base including local business people, small party groups and couples. The knowledgeable staff augmented the experience including providing pre-softened butter for the bread, which is a rare touch in many Italian restaurants and was an obvious good sign at the beginning of the meal on a busy Tuesday evening.
Birmingham and the UK as a whole have an abundance of Italian restaurant chains providing a great service in delivering a healthy supply of commendable places to eat all over the country – which is to be applauded, but the experience can sometimes feel very ‘corporate’ and unsatisfying. Thus, restaurants such as Pasta Di Piazza are welcomed as they offer something more intimate and pleasurable, and it’s usually the service and the attention to detail that improves with independently run restaurants like this, and therefore, Pasta Di Piazza is highly recommended and long may its success continue.
Review by Damien Wilkes for Grapevine Birmingham