Colwyn Bay, North Wales
We were invited to a family birthday and the chosen location was Virgilio’s, which is tucked away on a quiet street in Colwyn Bay, where it has been a popular venue for many years. It features a pleasant, trattoria-style dining area, lively and bustling on the Saturday evening we attended and serviced by attentive staff. Though Portuguese in origin (the family originally came from Madeira) there’s also a wide selection of Italian dishes and Gluten-free food is available on request.
For starters, I chose some Spare Ribs, a generously sized portion swimming in a piquant sticky barbecue sauce. I made very short work of it and there was much licking of fingers in the process. (Try not to do it, it’s hard!) Susan chose a bowl of Mussels, seasoned in garlic and coriander and offered with a choice of cream or tomato sauces (she opted for the latter). The mussels were cooked perfectly, light, zesty, a splendid appetiser.
For the main course, I went for Spaghetti Carbonara, something of a default order for me whenever pasta is on offer. I love a good carbonara and they can be surprisingly hard to find, but this one was particularly satisfying, thick and gloopy, with crisp crunchy bacon and plenty of parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Susan decided on another Italian classic, Lasagna Al Forno. This too was delicious, cooked with a white wine sauce and topped with a thick layer of mozzarella, it came accompanied by a couple of slices of garlic bread. Glancing around the other diners, I saw that a couple of people had selected Espetada Carne, long skewers of cubed rump steak, marinated with rock salt, bay leaves and garlic. It looked great but sadly, nobody was offering me a taste! Up at the top of the table there was a whole Sea Bream, which appeared to be very well cooked and presented and the vegetarians among the party had chosen a Fungi Stroganoff and various types of Pizza, all of which looked pretty good. One point that I particularly liked was that everything that came to the table arrived piping hot, which isn’t always the case in trattoria dining.
The wine and beer flowed and spirits were high. Susan had baked a rather fancy cake, so there was no need to order dessert, but I enjoyed my visit to Virgilio’s and would go again, like a shot.