No Ping food!
In the past few weeks I’ve wrestled with a frustrating commute and a series of things that have meant I’ve not had much time to stop and relax. Frustrated by my lack of time but motivated by my desire to go out for dinner rather than rush around at home I picked up a last minute offer on Groupon for Valentino’s in Harbourne. The offer was 2 courses and a glass of wine for 2 people and cost only £30. Having never been there before it seemed like an easy way to try somewhere new that was both close to home and likely to offer the kind of nourishing warmth needed to reset.
Knowing that the menu was restricted for the deal I was pleasantly surprised to find a number of appetising dishes on offer. On a cold, drizzly Monday it was just the kind of food we needed. Classic Italian fare and nothing over complicated.
Starting with a traditional tomato and mozzarella Bruschetta for Jordan and prawns and calamari in a white wine and garlic sauce our dishes were simple yet done well and whilst the prawns were smaller than imagined, I found myself licking the sauce off the plate with my finger such was its moreish flavour.
Proceeding to the mains, I opted for baked cod served with a lobster sauce and a stack of seasoned potatoes, broccoli and red cabbage. Jordan favoured the grilled chicken in Madeira with a matching accompaniment of vegetables. The fish was beautifully cooked, the chicken tender and moist and again both sauces had the same, well-seasoned viscosity that makes you search for something to mop up any residue.
Whilst not included, we went for a dessert course anyway, mainly because I can’t turn away from anything even vaguely resembling a Black Forest Gateau and as such Jordan joined me with a Tiramisu. In all honesty, my expectations were along the lines of Sara Lee so we were both pleasantly surprised with the quality of our respective deserts that were packed full of flavour.
A small, quiet venue with a family feel, my expectations were surpassed, the sign outside proclaiming ‘no ping food’ was a welcome one and the service suitably attentive and friendly. Dubious of what we would get on a last minute Groupon bargain we were apprehensive to begin but even with a set menu we were satisfied and will certainly go back and sample the full menu next time we need a comforting, homely dinner that focuses on flavour and not pretention. With Turners at 69 just next door, it’s good to see the range of options available on this little high street.
73 High St, Birmingham B17 9NS