There is a certain poetic fluidity about the language of Italian food. Cannelloni, minestrone, tiramisu, involtini, salmone afumicato; all rolling off the tongue at Justino’s. The fact that the food tastes every bit as good as it sounds, is something to celebrate.
WORDS: Jean Hill
I am reliably informed (via Facebook) that if my children spend more time with me, I get to live longer. I could add to that: if I spend more time with my family, eating gorgeous Italian food, I get to enjoy, all the more, living longer.
Justino’s is a beacon of light and warmth, on a chilly January, Saturday evening. Justino’s is all glass frontage, yet seems to attract heat and friendliness that generates warmth. It is a family run business, and looking around the restaurant, it is full of families. On some tables there are three generations, all happily enjoying eating together.
We began with bruschetta Caprina: the goat’s cheese was ever so slightly crumbly, with a deep rich, creamy taste. Add onion jam, rocket and balsamic glaze, on home-made toasted bread, and it is possibly the best appetizer I have ever tasted.
I opted for risotto alla verdure: verdure meaning lush vegetation. The ever so slightly sticky rice came, enveloped in a white wine creamy sauce. Peppers, onion, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms and chilli all came to the party. And it was a blast. There is an art to risotto, and this was sublime because the vegetables retained their taste and vitality, yet the rice had been cooked lovingly, over time. Our editor chose spicy penne pomodoro: essentially tomato and other fresh vegetables, that prompted her to say, that it was pretty much the finest Italian food she had ever tasted. Both our mains dishes come with chicken if desired. There is lamb shank on the menu with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and red onion gravy that sounded good enough to eat next time. And though we had no room left for dessert I spotted crème Brulée on the menu, and that is even more of a reason to return soon. There is a vibrant, relaxing atmosphere, the service is really, really good. Totally recommended.
Lunch-time comes with a bargain two course deal. There is entertainment (weekends I think); a soprano Latin dancing, and acoustic guitar. All this and….
Tel: 0151 4271155
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