For a few years now, Bellagio in Illovo has drawn a steady stream of diners who appreciate its elegance and rate its seafood as excellent. Gwynne Conlyn heads to Bellagio to experience the offerings herself.
The menu focuses on seafood, and each dish is handled with respect. The salmon, for instance, is excellent, and always prepared to your personal specification. Starters include an excellent beef carpaccio served the classic way; ginger calamari with chilli and lime; and perfectly plump oysters. For lunch, there’s a range of clever, crisp salads, including the classic French Niçoise, and a salmon salad with asparagus and salad greens, dressed to perfection in a dill mayonnaise. All the popular choices of seafood are there, often with a fresh twist. The homemade fish pie with dill is a perennial favourite. Winter’s culinary celebrations may include oxtail cooked just as it should be, with a little adherence to the bone and not a fall-off-the-bone mishmash.
They offer excellent by-the-glass wine options, and the wine list expands from there to celebrate top-quality local wines.
These people take their work seriously: they’re on the ball and well informed. Owner Louise Castle’s eagle eye and firm hand ensures quality all round.
Although this gem hides in a business centre, huge glass frontage allows tables to spill out onto the sidewalk under trees – gorgeous in summer and winter. It’s nice and quiet too, despite being located off a busy road. This is not hipster but, rather, sophisticated, laid-back cool. It’s the perfect spot to linger for a long lunches or dinner.
When available, the grilled sardines are a feast.
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