ONE could easily question the need for another restaurant in Leamington – but not when it is of the standard of The Grove Kitchen.
The newly opened restaurant can be found in Regent Grove in what was formerly home to Bellagio restaurant. The premises have undergone a stunning, and clearly not cheap, makeover, to create a stylish relaxed and comfortable dining experience.
Our party of four went along on a Saturday evening and we were pleased to see word is spreading fast as pretty much every table was taken.
The only difficulty we had was choosing from a well-thought-out menu based on freshly prepared Mediterranean classics.
The drinks menu, from cocktails to beers, also includes a carefully selected but not overwhelming selection of wines.
I eventually opted to begin with the superb Egyptian style king prawns which were wonderfully succulent, while my partner chose the beef, garlic and herb meatballs, which was certainly generous for a starter – but they tasted so good she certainly wasn’t complaining.
For main I went for the pan-fried free-range chicken breast served with potato cakes, fresh green beans and caramelised carrots with creamy white wine and mushroom sauce. The chicken, all too often served overcooked elsewhere, was spot on.
Another member of our party opted for the seafood spaghetti – scallops, king prawns, mussels and calamari in rich creamy garlic and chilli plum tomato sauce. Any fears over the freshness, being so far from the sea, were dispelled with the first mouthful.
The Grove Kitchen actually offers an excellent selection of fish dishes, and the ever-growing number of vegans are also well catered for on the menu.
I’ve already mentioned portion sizes are generous, but the relaxed atmosphere allows diners to digest and chat, before taking a look at the desserts. The chocolate diet – which may seem something of a contradiction in terms – proved a big hit with all of us.
Hats off to chef Lofti Saidi, and to the waiting staff who were knowledgeable, attentive but not overbearing.
A £10 lunch deal, which includes a glass of wine and a soft drink, is already proving popular.
Christmas bookings are being taken, and with the word spreading, festive diners would be advised to be quick, with a three course lunch for £22 and dinner for £26.
The Grove Kitchen is certainly a welcome addition to Leamington’s restaurant scene and it is sure to become a firm favourite.
Visit www.thegrovekitchen.co.uk to book.