Valentino’s is a relatively new (well new in York years) Italian situated on the Mount. Despite walking past the venue numerous times I’d not had the chance to visit. Therefore after a nice drink in the Windmill just a stone’s throw away it seemed the perfect chance to sample a new place.
We arrived not long after 8 and despite there being a large party in and a few other couples we were shown straight to a nice table. Both the seats were facing into the restaurant which not only meant it was perfect to keep chatting, it also meant we could channel our inner nosiness and keep an eye on what others were eating.
Ordering wine first and snacking on complimentary bread and olives we were able to turn our attention to the menu. It was a combination of classic pizzas and pasta but also some less standard items such as chicken and prawns in lobster sauce, or steak with cheese and ham. There was also a specials menu to choose from.
For starters we went for a cheese overload, ordering one of my favourites, mozzarella in Carrozza and also a caprino e spinaci for us both to share. I then, of course, went for Pizza Vegetarianna as I can never resist a pizza, and my friend went for the healthier option of the fish cake starter from the specials menu, with a side of patatine fritte and Insalata Caprese.
Now we must confess that when the starters arrived we were a bit shocked, they were huge. The mozzarella wrapped in breadcrumbs was a good-sized chunk of cheese. It was served with an array of salad leaves, parsnip crisps, peppers and cucumber on the plate, whilst there was a hefty glug of a sweet tomato sauce to dip the cheese into. The outside was crispy and the mozzarella oozed out when cutting into. It was a pretty perfect take on mozzarella in Carrozza and I’ve tried a few. The goats cheese was a similar size, again on a plate of salad with a portion of spinach all offset by a tangy cranberry sauce, which is a great accompaniment to a soft goats cheese.
Polishing off both of these, we were starting to be a little concerned about how we were going to tackle the mains, and we should have been. The pizza came out and was overflowing from the plate. It was a thin crispy base, loaded with mushrooms, aubergines, tomatoes, peppers and capers. All completed by yet more cheese. The combination of flavours was wonderful and the addition of the salty little capers really lifted the whole pizza. The fish cakes were just like the other starters had been, on another huge plate of salad with a tomato dipping sauce. The sides quickly followed fresh tasting sliced tomatoes and mozzarella with crispy lettuce leaves, and then the patatine fritte, which you’ve guessed it is chips. A towering cone of chips in fact which were perfectly fried, crispy on the outside and fluffy potato inside. All the food was a winner, just sadly the amount beat us and we didn’t even bother looking at the dessert menu.
This was a lovely little find. The staff were super efficient and incredibly friendly. The waiter even treated customers to a few songs as he wandered among the tables. The décor is a little garish but that just adds to the atmosphere of the restaurant. I would highly recommend a visit here.
🍛 Meal for 2 with 2 drinks each: £62
🎉 My Highlight: The mozzarella in carrozza with the parsnip crisps
🍴 If we could change one thing…
Slightly less salad perhaps!
Restaurant website: www.valentinos.org.uk