Sentimental trip turned into a tasty delight
Taste of the past with a firm
IT’S not often I take my husband out for dinner, but since we were celebrating our second wedding anniversary I thought we deserved a treat. So off we set to one of my favourite restaurants, La Lombarda on the corner of Aberdeen’s Castlegate. I’ve had many a good night at the restaurant over the years. Back in the 1980s, every Friday night me and the girls would head for Pepe’s bar in the basement of the restaurant for a jug or two of sangria. So you can imagine my delight as our friendly waiter Richard ushered us to our cosy alcove seat and informed me sangria was still on the menu downstairs in what is now Sinatra’s Bar, along with some live music. Our night had just planned itself out. We ordered a bottle of pinot grigio, £13.50, as we settled in, perusing an extensive menu which featured a wide variety of pasta, meat dishes and more than 15 pizzas. Oh decisions, decisions. What’s a girl to have? After much indecision, I finally opted for the pate della casa for starter and, true to form, spaghetti carbonara for main. My hubby chose bruschetta for starter and the coda di rospo peppers (monkfish with fresh mixed peppers in a ginger and cream sauce served on a bed of rice), for his main. Even though the restaurant was bustling and full of happy diners, our starters arrived in no time. The staff were extremely efficient and I especially appreciated the waiter offering me toast instead of oatcakes with my pate. Oatcakes just don’t do it for me, so I was well chuffed when the generous portion was placed before me – toast and all. The meaty pate was served with a fresh, crispy salad, which really went down a treat. Across the table, my other half made short shrift of the three portions of bruschetta, declaring it the best he’d had. He was pleased it wasn’t too overloaded with garlic and he thought the balsamic on his rocket salad a nice touch too. On to the main course, and I confess I was a little envious when I saw the plate put before David. I’ve only recently ventured into eating monkfish, but the aroma
rising from his plate was divine. He’s a bit of a gannet at the best of times, but even he had to concede defeat and was unable to finish his meal. He did manage to polish off all the monkfish and was pleased it was a generous portion and not just a couple of mouthfuls. After sweetening up the waiter for an extra heaped spoon of parmesan, I tucked into my al dente carbonara, which had the perfect combination of cream and smoky bacon. But just like David, I too was unable to finish my main meal. With no room for dessert, we both had an Irish coffee before heading downstairs for some live music. We were both impressed with the female singer, who seemed to know every song from the 1970s era, despite being so young herself. And the sangria? It was still as good as I had remembered.
STARTER Bruschetta al Pomodora,
£4.50 Pate Della Casa, £5.90
MAIN Spaghetti Carbonara,
£9.60 Coda di Rospo Peppers,
With drinks £60.30
LA LOMBARDA ADDRESS: 2 King Street, Aberdeen. OPENING TIMES:
Open 11am – 9.30pm Monday to Thursday; Friday and Saturday 11am – 10.30pm; Sunday 5pm – 9.30pm.
Top-class and varied Italian menu at affordable prices. Friendly and helpful.
Relaxed ambience with a New York club feel downstairs when the music starts.
ALL SMILES: Waitress Kirsten Meyer.
GRUB’S UP: Diners Marty Bain and Jessica Cumming.
INVITING: The Belvedere Hotel, Stonehaven.
Evan Street, Stonehaven
FRIENDLY FACES: Staff, from left, Nikolett Tompa, Erin Wilson, Kirsten Meyer, George Wyatt and Theresa Wyatt.