Wednesday 14 October 2015

Da Tonino - A Fabulous, Bradford Based Italian Find

It's no secret that I'm a little bit of a foodie.

I mean, how could I not be - there is just so much amazingness out there to be enjoyed.

I think I'm definitely at a stage in my life now where, as body-conscious as I can often be, a "good night out" is more about enjoying lovely food with fabulous people and having great conversation than it is about throwing shots down my neck and suffering for days afterwards.
(Wow - when did I get old...)

A little while ago - well it was actually a huge while ago now I think about it, Baby Baker wasn't even on the scene - we had a large family celebratory meal planned for my Grandparent's Wedding Anniversary and it was brilliant - especially to have all of us together for once because it's such a rarity these days.

Anyway, as it was all so nice, I still wanted to tell you about the fab food we had - I mean, you never really forget about good food now do you, and all it means is that I'm going to have to take another trip to the restaurant again - very soon - and make sure I try everything all over again.

So which restaurant did we go to?

Well it was a really lovely one which is actually in my own home-town of Bradford.

It is a fab, family-run Italian situated in Shipley and it is called Da Tonino

Now the restaurant isn't slap-bang in the centre of town, it's a little way out, but not too far away and is very easily accessible by car, taxi or bus.

My auntie, cousins and grandparents are regular "Da Tonino Customers" and absolutely love the place, but this was the first time myself, the Hubby or the son had been, and it was immediately clear to see why the rest of my family favoured the place so highly.

Being a family run business, there was certainly an emphasis on making customers feel as welcome as possible as soon as they stepped through the door.

The manager came out to personally say Hello to us and everyone couldn't seem to do enough to make us feel happy and totally looked after.

Once we had ordered drinks we were seated in our own little private area - not fully away from everyone else but just enough to give us a little bit of privacy.

We chatted, laughed and perused the menu whilst yummy plates of "Focacia Con Pomodoro e Aglio" - or garlic pizza bread - appetisers were brought out for us to enjoy...

~ Oh carbs how I do love you ~

The slices tasted lovely and the garlic wasn't too overpowering.

They weren't too large that they filled you up quickly either, but were just enough to get you ready for the next course.

As the restaurant offers an Early Bird Menu option at certain times of the day (Sunday - Thursday until 7.30pm) I chose two courses from that which meant I was having a starter and a main course for less than £14 - what an absolute bargain.

Especially considering the quality of the food that was brought out.

For my starter, I just couldn't resist the huge slab of amazing "Mozzarella in Carozza Milanese" - breaded mozerella in a tomato sauce...

...the aroma as it hit the table was outstanding, and then the taste - oh my days - waist-line I do apologise but this just had to be done...

~ It was delicious ~

Perfectly cooked, rich mozzarella covered in a nice amount of breadcrumbs and then coated with a really flavoursome tomato sauce which complemented the rest of the dish perfectly - it was very wow.

 And the portion size was huge - which I liked very much!

Obviously I managed to finish it all too. didn't really think I'd be leaving any of that hunk of cheese behind now did you...

No way.

Once our starters had been devoured and after a little breather, our main courses began to arrive.

Now I do think after such an exceptionally cheesy starter, opting for "Lasagne Al Forno" - just Lasagna to me - (any pasta or pizza dish from the main menu priced £8.95 can be chosen within the early bird deal too) was a slight rookie mistake, but I do really love lasagna and will nearly always opt for it when I see it on a menu.

And then when it arrived I was oh-so-happy with my choice...

It was this huge, bubbling-hot stack of pasta, tomato, cheese and beef bolognese, and it tasted divine...

Unfortunately I wasn't able to finish nearly as much as I would have liked, but that was my own fault - the dish was cooked to perfection and I have to say was probably one of the nicest lasagne's I've ever had.

And I do really want to eat it again right now...

Throughout the whole meal, the staff were very accommodating and kept popping over to check if everything was OK for us or if we needed anything.

Certainly an A* for customer service.

Especially when, as it was such a special occasion, they brought out a huge cow bell and made a massive fuss of my Grandma and Grandad, playing them a very loud, very attention-grabbing song that the whole restaurant couldn't fail to hear.

The manager then plyed each of them with a shot of sambuca - and Go My Grandparents! - they downed them in one!

It is really nice to find lovely places to eat close to home, and Da Tonino is a place very much worth a visit - whether you are from Bradford or not.

I know I'll be heading back that's for sure!

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