Today is National Food Day with the aim to encourage people to“Eat Real,” which is defined as “cutting back on sugary drinks, overly salted packaged foods and fatty, factory-farmed meats in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and sustainably raised protein.”
This morning I had a fascinating chat with the lovely Giuliano, Co-Founder of the popular Edinburgh family restaurant Giuliano’s. We spoke about one of his all-time fave dishes on the menu, involving the teams own homemade sausages, wild mushrooms and mashed potatoes. Funnily enough, today is also Bologna Day. Bologna is derived from and is somewhat similar to the Italian mortadella (a finely hashed/ground pork sausage) that originated in Bologna, Italy. Giuliano explained to me what he believes makes a fantastic sausage and, as predicted, it is of course the quality of the meat. If pigs are looked after and fed the best grass ha and pumpkins etc., then the sausages will need far less seasoning. In many cases, salt and pepper is enough. If fennel and garlic are used, it should be in small doses so not to take away from the quality of the meat.
I absolutely love eating out. I love good food, escaping from the dishes and soaking up some nice surroundings with a great vibe. I was recently reminded about my love of Giuliano’s, which holds so many wonderful memories of family celebrations for me. What I love about the Italian culture is their welcoming nature and their love of family life and of course family meals. These are often the times we remember – sitting round together and enjoying good food. Another amazing memory of Giuliano’s is the birthday music – these guys go all out with the lights and the singing.
My birthday fell on a Monday this year and I was determined we would still be going out to eat when Hubs got back from work and the kids were done with school and nursery. For one, I had just had a gorgeous manicure at The Wax Bar so dishes were well and truly off the cards.
Two things I love – amazing cheese and nails!
As Giuliano explained, we have come A LONG WAY from the days that the woman’s job was primarily to be a good wife by cooking dishes that would please her husband. Part of this role was to stay at home and teach their daughters how to be a good wife. These days, we now have the option and disposable income to enjoy eating out to get a break from the fast pace of life. Thankfully, cooking is now for all genders too as that hubs of mine and don’t get me started on my Father in Law have made my soul sing with their delights in the kitchen.
So off we trotted. Our lovely waiter was dressed in a red tartan waistcoat, which made me feel instantly at home. I asked him to pick my dishes, I wanted some of the classic favorites. I started with the mixed seafood, which came in a lovely broth and was delicious – prawns, mussels, calamari – yum. I also wanted to trial out the bruschetta which we shared on the table and I can safely say it is the best I have had all year. I asked Giuliano what his secret is to an amazing bruschetta to which he replied, olive oil, garlic and good quality tomatoes. It’s amazing how many places get such a simple classic so wrong. The bruschetta tasted exactly how Italian home cooking should. Bonnie, Hubs and my Dad LOVED their prawns.
My Della Casa main was fresh and delicious – a firm favorite of the teams and a spin on the classic Bolognese, with mushrooms, peas, spicy sausage and a touch of cream. The gluten free pasta options are really tasty too – my Mum loved her chicken pasta dish.
The pizza was spot on, thin, crispy and fresh. Bonnie is loving mushrooms these days so she got plenty on her half. I love the fact the restaurant is so flexible and super family friendly. Mixing up the ingredients – no bother. Charlie is taking after his Dad and loves a chicken pizza. As for my Dad, he loves a good classic lasagne and that is exactly what he got and it was delish.
To my absolute delight, just like when I was a child, they dimmed all the lights and sang me happy birthday. I have no shame and loved it (ok I did blush a little but seeing the kids all excited made it worth it). I may be 36 but I am still a big kid at heart. A massive thanks to the team for having us and looking after us so well. It was great to see the restaurant cram packed on a Monday night, I was worried we might be the only ones there but the atmosphere was pumping. Top food and service never goes out of fashion. I am only able to review restaurants that I enjoy and I don’t like to write about the bad experiences. I am so pleased this was a good one and my lovely childhood memories can live on. If you go please send me a selfie.
I am going to try the venison next! But definitely more bruschetta 🙂
A reminder that the restaurant is open over lunch too and is excellent for taking kids.