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29.10.14

Zizzi Autumn Menu #zizzigoodtimes

One thing I love about blogging, and I know I've mentioned this so many times before, is the friendships it has brought me. And yes, Hayley in particular. (sorry not sorry for mentioning you). In the past year we've made the most of seeing each other when we can, although it is slightly tricky being 120 miles apart.
We planned to go to Blogcamp together and with other blogging fav Donna coming too we all decided to make the most of a child-free girls night. After discovering that there was a Zizzi Restaurant in Birmingham, within walking distance of the conference venue, we knew exactly what we wanted to do.

We were checking out the new Autumn Menu and usually when I go to an Italian restaurant I would sit and umm and ahhh for quite a while as I struggle to decided what to have from a menu where actually I want everything. We decided to have a go at....sharing.
We ordered 4 dishes from the new menu and then had a plate each so we could try everything.
Because we would be sharing we decided against having a starter, which was a big decision in itself as there are so many items we would want to choose from there.

 

Our Choices 

Wild Boar Ragu Pappardelle
Rich wild boar ragu with red wine, garlic & tomatoes, pappardelle pasta & Grana Padano.

Warm Duck & Pomegranate Salad
Pulled confit duck, pomegranate, beetroot, butternut squash & long stem broccoli with mixed leaves, balsamic dressing & dough sticks. Vegetarian? Swap the duck for aubergine!

Classic Caprina (We ordered this Rustica)
Goats’ cheese, pepperonata, spring onions, roquito pepper pearls & baby watercress.

Rustica Pulled Pork Rosmarino
Pulled pork on a cheese base of Fior di Latte mozzarella, Grana Padano & rosemary. Topped with crispy prosciutto shards, roast squash & baby watercress. Served with apple sauce on the side.

Oh my, where do I start? When there is pizza or pasta on offer I wouldn't choose a salad, however I was really intrigued by the Warm Duck and Pomegranate Salad on offer. I think the advantage of sharing meals is that it would encourage me to order a salad so it's not a complete carb-fest.
I have to say, after seeing the portion size, and the vegetables in the salad I would definitely recommend this and would order it again. 
I am a fan of duck so did enjoy this salad, however I felt there was something missing in form of a dressing, it needed a little something extra to make it perfect...although something that isn't the obvious hoi sin or plum sauce.

The Wild Boar Ragu had all three of us groaning. My goodness, I'm not sure how to put it in words. Not only was it full of flavour but it tasted so fresh. And don't be put off by it being Wild Boar, only in the past year have I been more adventurous when it comes to food and meat in particular and I am so glad about that as maybe in the past I would have avoided pasta like this. 

Without fail everytime I go to Zizzi I have to have a pizza. Back in Spring when we visited the Norwich Zizzi and tried out the Spring menu I absolutely loved the rustica bistecca formaggi  [thinly sliced steak on a cheese base of gorgonzola, gruyère and pecorino. With slow roasted tomatoes, rocket, mozzarella and grana padano] so I was excited by the Rustica Pulled Pork Rosmarin.
This was, as we expected, amazing. Although, we were too busy eating the pizza that we forgot about the apple sauce that came with it until my last slice. It seemed odd to have apple sauce with a pizza, and I wasn't sure that it would work but it really did and was a great addition.
As with the steak pizza back on the spring menu the pulled pork pizza also came on a cheese base and this is something that would put me off, however I think with a tomato base this pizza may not have worked so well.
My favourite thing about this pizza was the roast squash topping. I felt this worked really well and isn't something I have seen on a pizza before.

Although I am not a vegetarian I did look at the dishes available to those who are and it wouldn't disappoint. Zizzi has a great variety in it's menu in that not only are there dishes that cater for vegetarians, they also give suggestions of changes on some of the meat dishes so that it would be suitable for a vegetarian. For example, on the duck and pomegranate salad they suggest substituting the duck for aubergine.
We ordered the Classic Caprina, although opted to have it rustica so it has a bigger base (more food!). This is another aspect of the menu that I really like, the option to have your pizza either classic or for small extra charge you can have it rustica.
I am a big lover of goats cheese, in fact it seems to be a tradition that when I eat pizza with Hayley that it has to have a goats cheese topping.
My husband is very much "I am a man, I need meat" so this isn't a pizza I could usually see us ordering and sharing, however, I think even the biggest meat fan would love this.
The extra special wow factor with this pizza is the roquito pepper pearls. Oh, hello there small pearls of utter deliciousness. Because of the pearls being quite spicy I wouldn't be able to eat a whole pizza like this, however as a sharing pizza it is ideal. I did add some of the apple sauce from the pulled pork pizza to this and it worked equally as well.

Once our plates were empty, we just about resisted licking them clean, it was time for dessert.

We decided to have our own desserts although wanting to try out the new Pomegranate Sorbet we ordered that to share.

Our Choices 

Pomegranate Sorbet
Smooth & creamy, made with sweet, Mediterranean pomegranate.

Lemon Meringue Sundae [Donna]
Gavin placed each of the cocktails in front of us and I couldn't help but squeal and praise him for placing the Biano Italiano in front of me. I love a glass of Baileys at the end of a meal, and usually choose this over a coffee.
It was deeeeelicious. 
Donna was given the Mixed Berry Cooler which was, as expected, fruity and refreshing.
Hayley had the Winterberry Prosecco, which we couldn't find on the menu and were then told it's actually part of the Christmas cocktail menu....a great excuse to go back at Christmas time I'd say!

I couldn't fault our meal at Zizzi at the Mailbox in Birmingham whatsoever. The service was fantastic, and I do feel I should point out that this wasn't because we were there to review. We looked around at other tables watched the staff secret-detective-stylee and they were so attentive and everyone looked pleased not only with their meals but with the service they received too.
We do have to give a special mention to Gavin who was so fantastic. He was really passionate about the menu and the meals he was serving us...and got the cocktails spot on.

Not only is Zizzi perfect for a family meal out, but also for an evening with the girls. 
And you know what, sharing food isn't so bad after all!


Zizzi Vegetarian Pizza
Zizzi Wild Boar Pasta
Zizzi Autumn Menu

Thank you Zizzi for providing us with amazing food and amazing service in exchange for this review.