While down in Brighton we thought we would head out for lunch – not always an easy task with a stroppy two year old in tow but it was 12:30pm so we had no choice. We walked past a few places until we saw Jamies Italian in the distance and set our eyes on it.
The frontage was clean with seats available outside but the inside looked quiet and welcoming. Its sometimes difficult to judge if a restaurant is going to be welcoming to a tired and hungry two year old but from the very first welcome they were great.
We were offered a booth at first but when we said no as we needed a highchair we weren’t made to feel like that was a problem and we were quickly offered a different table. The highchair provided was clean and had no broken parts which I’m coming to realise is a rare combination in quite a few restaurants!
The children’s menu is provided on an old ViewMaster which I thought was brilliant – in fact I was disappointed the whole menu wasn’t presented in this way! She was also given crayons and a colouring mat so was very happy and as we all know – happy toddler = happy parents. The food options were good and included spaghetti bolognese, chicken sliders, puppy dogs, chicken lollipops and pasta bake amongst other options. All very healthy and not a fried in breadcrumbs option in sight so we ordered Emma the spaghetti as soon as we walked in the door.
This is a trick we’ve learnt and I wish restaurants would offer it as standard. Picture the scene – you arrive at the restaurant and order an adult meal and a child meal for your toddler. Both meals turn up steaming hot and too hot for the toddler to eat. Result is both meals go cold while you are frantically blowing on the small person’s meal and abandon your own. If you order the children’s meal before you even do drinks it can be on your table and cooling while you are waiting for your meal to arrive and then you all get to eat together. I do recommend you hide the cooling meal behind a menu though as if yours is anything like mine they won’t be happy about not being able to eat the food they can see!
Anyway – Emmas food arrived and it was delicious. Made me wish I’d got the Bolognese in fact – perfectly cooked pasta and good quality mince in a delicious rich sauce. Really lovely…… if only there was a cook book I could try and reproduce it from…..!
While hers was cooling and friendly and smiling waiter came over to take our drinks orders. He got the levels just right between friendly and annoyingly enthusiastic. He answered our questions about the specials without any problems and said hello to Emma as well.
I had a pizza with mushrooms, truffles, parmesan shavings and rocket and it was marvellous. Cooked really well and not an excessive size – perfect for lunch. My husband had the pork chop special and also said it was really well cooked and again a good portion size.
I wanted to stay for dessert but Emma was starting to get a bit fractious so we decided not to push our luck and head for home before a full scale tantrum happened. I would have given the cheesecake a good go though and Emma probably would have had the fruit or ice cream.
We asked for the bill which was £35 inc tip – not bad for 3 meals and three drinks and roughly what we were expecting to pay. They got the bill for us quickly and payment was easily made without having to leave the table.
All in all a great lunch, excellent service and we will be sure to add Jamies Italian to our list of welcoming restaurants in the future.