Eating out in Northampton: Gianbiaz on the Welly Road

last Friday Goose and I, after a particularity trying week of work, decided to treat ourselves to a night out. We intended to go to La Pergola on Northampton’s  Wellingborough Road because we’d eaten there before. La Pergola has a quirky feel and a wonderfully marmitey lady patron. Unfortunately, it is currently closed for refurbishments so watch this space for a review in the autumn.

Instead I chose Gianbiaz as somewhere I’d not been in several years but remembered as a decent Italian with a rather special pudding – a chocolate coated ice cream bombe drenched in Sambuca and served alight. Its fab, the chocolate melts into the liqueur and its a very boozy finish to your meal.

Sadly they no longer serve it.

However, we booked in and arrived about 7.30 to a lively eatery. The staff were attentive without being fussy and the only down point was a rather boorish group of about 6 persons who seemed to have arrived a bit worse for drink and then got drunker. It happens and it didn’t ruin our evening.

We started with a mix of breads: pesto aglio (nice basil flavour), bruschetta (trad with tomato) and diavola (hot with chillis). They were just enough to start, soft bread nicely presented and well seasoned. We ordered a bottle of red, Nero D’Avolo, on the waiter’s say so and it was good. Dry on the palette but with plenty of cherry fruitiness. It went down very well.

Goose had Pollo Parmigiano – this was a chicken breast layered with mozzarella, parma ham and a napolitana sauce, served with a chunk of polenta. I chose veal because I’d never eaten it before. I was nervous but it was delightful; it was an escalope rolled and stuffed with garlic, meat, Parmesan cheese and herbs and served with a vibrant tomato sauce. I’m not sure about the ethics of eating veal and I may not do again very often but this was very good.

My sadness about the lack of the sambuca bomb was overcome by the new desserts they offer. Goose couldn’t believe the tiramisu could be as good as La Pergola’s – but it was better! I had an ice cream with coffee and hazelnut liqueur that came in three parts for me to combine. Not quite the alchemy of the bombe but a pretty good substitute.

Its not a cheap place but I thought it was reasonable for a weekend treat. Starters cost between £5-8, breads, nibbles, olives etc from about £3-6. Mains are around £8-16 (a little more if you go for fillet steak) and the wine was £24 (about mid way on their list that starts at £15), dessert around the £5 mark. I think we paid about £70 on the night (including a tip) and good value.

I don’t often eat out Italian because pasta is so easy to cook but they have enough on their menu for us to go back again before too long.


One thought on “Eating out in Northampton: Gianbiaz on the Welly Road

  1. Pingback: What have they done with Maria? La Pergola in Northampton | Goose Barnacles: a guide to eating well…

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