Last Thursday I treated my boyfriend to a 7 course meal at the Filini Bar & Restaurant which is located within the Radisson Blu Hotel in the centre of Bristol.
Before booking I telephoned the restaurant to see if they offered gluten free alternatives for their set menu and I was transferred to the chef who confirmed this wouldn’t be a problem and to call again once booked to confirm my dietary requirements. This was my first ‘off plan’ restaurant that I would be going to since my diagnosis, so it was great to know that it was that easy to arrange and I felt at ease with going ahead and making the booking.
Once booked I called again to ensure that the chef was aware of my reservation date and time, but I also emailed the day before the meal to confirm the booking. By this point I was starting to get slightly nervous that there may be a problem, so wanted to triple check that they knew all about it! Fortunately on arrival, they took my booking details and instantly said ‘oh yes, this is a gluten free meal’.
We were seated at a lovely table by the window overlooking Bristol harbourside and it was nice that we both had this view due to the great positioning of their tables. The first course was already on the table (homemade bread and olives) and we were presented with a glass of Prosecco each.
Shortly afterwards the waiter came over and discussed the gluten free options with me. It turned out that only 2 of the courses would need to be completely changed, I could still choose from 2 of the 3 main meal options and some other courses just needed to be adapted. This was great, as I could still enjoy a lot of the same food as my boyfriend, but also experience some other options. I mentioned to the waiter about the bread already on the table and he then brought me some slices of gluten free bread, which was very nice, so I’d be keen to know if that was freshly made!
The second course after the olives and bread was meat and cheese antipasti and again this was lovely. I normally just stick to what I know, so it was nice to try a selection of different cheeses and meats.
The third course was slightly adapted for me as it was minestrone soup with grilled bread, so there was no pasta in my soup or bread accompaniment and I would say this was probably one of the nicest of the courses. It was full of flavour, but also quite light considering there were still 4 courses to follow!
The fourth course was changed for me as it should have been four cheese tortellini which my boyfriend enjoyed, but I had a tomato risotto and it was divine. If you think of a 7 course meal you’d probably assume the portions to be quite small, but they certainly weren’t and this one in particular was bigger than I expected, so much so that by the end, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to manage the other courses!
The fifth course was the main and my options were the chicken breast or the catch of the day (the third option was baked puff pastry so this was obviously not an option for me). I opted for the chicken and my boyfriend opted for the fish (in this case it was hake). Both of these meals were spectacular! The chicken was sauteed with garlic, fresh herbs and artichoke hearts on a bed of mash and the crispy skin was immense. The hake looked equally good and seemed to be greatly enjoyed!
The final course and the very exciting one for me was amaretti biscuits with limoncello and amaretto liquers. Now obviously I didn’t opt for the biscuits, but anyone that knows me knows that I love amaretto, so I was very excited to get a shot of this with the limoncello, however, we didn’t. It seemed that they may have run out of amaretto by the time we were served :(. I still had the limoncello, but the alternative to the amaretto smelt a bit too strong for me.
Overall, this meal was utterly amazing and the service provided by our waiter (Antonio) was equally as good, so I would definitely recommend visiting the Filini Restaurant.
The normal cost of the 7 course meal for 2 would have been over £100, but fortunately I found an offer on a website which meant the total cost was around half the normal price. This made it possible to try somewhere different, but also experience a 7 course meal at a more reasonable price.
For more information on the Filini Restaurant please visit their website www.filinirestaurant.com/restaurantbristol or follow the Radisson Blu Hotel on Twitter @RadissonBristol