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Address: 33 - 37 Harrogate Road / Chapel Allerton / Leeds / West Yorkshire / England / LS7 3PD / Tel: 0113 239 2555

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      13.04.2010 10:41
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      The best restaurant in Leeds, like the title suggests! x

      Ages ago now, I received a compliment from a member of Dooyoo/Ciao saying someone had branded me 'like an ambassador for Leeds'. I was so touched by that, and I thought I'd better get writing another review on a hidden gem the city has to offer... I also promised you a review of this place on my actual Leeds In General review, so here it is...

      ~*Food, Glorious Food!*~

      Food is one of life's greatest indulgences, and I believe that finding a fantastic restaurant you can visit again and again is important. Here in Leeds there are many different restaurants that you could visit, however many of them are hidden away and not very well known, and I love it when I discover them! I like all different types of food, but when I eat out my favourite is either Chinese or Italian. Casa Mia is an Italian restaurant, and a darn good one at that!!

      ~*How I Discovered It*~

      Me and my family wanted to try somewhere new, local and exciting for a meal out one lunchtime. My auntie, who had visited here once before, suggested here. We decided to trust her idea (and I am definitely glad we did!) and we decided to visit the one in Chapel Allerton as we assumed it would be less busy than the one in Leeds City Centre, near the Millennium Square. I have now visited the Millennium Square one once.

      Please bear in mind, for the most part this review will be about the Chapel Allerton Casa Mia Coffee Shop'

      ~*Casa Mia Coffee Shop*~

      The Coffee Shop is the original Casa Mia restaurant, and has been open for ten years now. It can be all different kinds of things to all different kinds of people - a restaurant, a cafebar, pasta bar, wine bar, a delicatessen, takeaway or a pizzeria! Not bad, eh?

      ~*General Information*~

      Casa Mia Coffee Shop
      10 - 12 Stainbeck Lane
      Chapel Allerton
      Leeds LS7 3QY
      Tel: 0113 266 1269Opening Times:
      Monday to Saturday
      9:00am - 10:30pm
      Sunday
      9:00am - 10:00pm

      ~*Other Things You Need To Know*~

      Casa Mia has a wide range of vegetarian dishes.
      Some dishes may contain traces of known allergens, e.g nuts

      ~*How To Get There*~

      Casa Mia Coffee Shop is on Stainbeck Lane, in Chapel Allerton. It is approximately ten minutes away from Leeds City Centre. Casa Mia is in amongst a small collection of stores, mainly independent, and opposite Somerfield. When we come by car we park in Somerfield's car park as we get two hours free parking. We don't really buy anything from Somerfield, but we just walk through on our way to the restaurant to justify our parking there! Sorry, Somerfield!

      ~*The Look Of It*~

      Casa Mia looks very inviting, and it has a relaxed, classy atmosphere, very chilled out. It is the sort of place which looks like you could arrive for a posh meal without having to dress up too smartly or feel you don't fit in. The cafe has a terrace style bit outside. There you are greeted by the friendly staff and given the choice to sit either in the terrace part (nice on a summers day) or inside (which I would recommend - it's lovely in there!).

      ~*Getting Settled*~

      Friendly waiters will ensure you are sitting comfortably, however as I've mentioned before I think you will get a better experience of this fabulous restaurant if you are seated inside. The inside decor is very nicely styled and there are condiments and other products to buy all along one side of the wall. You are given a menu and children are often given colouring crayons and paper to keep them occupied.

      ~*Ordering*~

      The Coffee Shop is a fairly small restaurant and I think that is a good thing as you are more likely to get served quicker! The staff will note down your order and get working on it straight away. If you are inside you will be able to see the staff get to work behind a counter of gorgeous cakes and pastries.

      ~*Drinks To Go With The Meal*~

      Drinks are reasonably priced and I would recommend the simply sublime fresh orange juice - squeezed in one of those fancy orange squeezers in from of your very eyes! The orange juice is lovely, and comes in a fancy glass complete with straw and paper umberella! Little things like this show off the fantastic standard and great quality of the restaurant.
      Other drinks include:
      Pineapple/Peach/Apricot/Pear Juice - £2.05
      ACE Carrots/Lemon/Orange - £2.05
      That Divine Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice - £2.35
      Wine by the Glass (175cl) - £3.15
      Wine by the Glass (250cl) - £4.60
      Italian Beer - Nastro Azzuro - £3.15
      Wide Range of Soft Drinks - £1.95
      Italian Mineral Water (Still or Sparkling) - £2.00
      They have a large selection of White, Red and Rose wines, and a selection of Champagne & Sparkling.

      You don't often have to wait long for drinks to be served, and they are all of finest quality!

      ~*To Start You Off...*~

      I don't often get a starter as I find the main courses are often big enough for me, however when I'm feeling particularly indulgent I either get the Soup of the Day - always gorgeous - or, more recently I have tried the 'New' Smoked Salmon dish. I find the starters to be rather expensive, however if you can afford them I would definitely recommend them as they are really good quality, a generous size (e.g. big enough to justify the price without filling you up to much before the main course) and they are presented well too!
      Salads - £6.25 (Salads available as a main course at £11.95)
      Soup Of The Day - £4.95
      Other Starters - from £6.25

      ~*Pasta!*~

      The most well known Italian dish (arguably!) - and their are so many variations of it! Choose from eleven Italian favourites (including the Pasta Of The Day) and let your tastebuds embrace the divine meals. My personal favourites include the traditional Lasagne and the Penne al Pomodoro.
      * Prices range from £7.25 - £9.50, however the majority are priced at £8.75.

      ~*Main Courses*~

      Here are some of Casa Mia's best selling dishes, all absolutely scrumptious, I'd imagine! These dishes range from the much loved Italian Meatballs and Spaghetti to Chicken Cacciatora. Prices from £8.25 - £10.95.

      ~*Pizza!*~

      Never have I seen such a wide range of pizzas, or tasted such quality pizzas, until visiting here! The pizza's are freshly made from a light, doughy base and topped with only the best quality ingredients. With a massive twenty-four different 'flavours' to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice!
      My personal favourite is the Tropicana pizza - it takes the modern ham and pineapple to a whole new level. The pineapple chunks are fresh, sweet and juicy, and the ham is bursting with flavour.
      The pizza's are large and cooked to perfection!
      Pizzas are around £10 each, and you can add extra toppings for £1.30.
      For an extra £2.00 you can 'upgrade' your pizza from cows mozzarella to buffalo mozzarella.
      Garlic bread is available for £4.95. I have tried the Tomato Garlic Bread With Cheese and it was lovely, such outstanding quality.

      ~*Side Orders!*~

      I have only ever had a side order of chips before, to share with my family, and I know it may sound ridiculous but even they are like nothing I have ever tasted before. My mum, who isn't the biggest chip lover, has even said she would be happy with just a bowl of the gorgeous chips as her whole meal! Side orders include Italian Homemade Ciabatta (£1.95) and Tomato and Onion Salad (£2.95).

      ~*Hot Drinks*~

      Whilst waiting for a dessert, we let our meals settle by ordering a hot drink. My auntie always gets a coffee, my mum a cup of tea, and me a hot chocolate! The coffee is made with beans imported from Italy to create the 'best espresso'. You can ask for an extra shot, for stronger coffee and they offer to use skimmed milk, if you prefer.
      Coffee
      Cappuccino £1.95
      Latte £2.00
      Espresso £1.65
      Mocha Cappuccino £2.20
      Double Espresso £2.25
      White Coffee £1.95
      Macchiato £1.65
      Black Coffee £1.95
      All coffee can be decaf, and you could add a flavour to enhance the experience for a mere 25p!
      Tea
      Tea - £1.95
      Speciality Teas Teapigs - £2.50 (many flavours, these are award winning teas!)

      ~*Hot Chocolate*~

      Oh my God. These are the best hot chocolates you have ever tasted, I promise you. They are so rich, creamy and full of flavour. They are served with whipped cream and a straw. It may just be me, but I think hot chocolate tastes so much better through a straw! Absolutely gorgeous... I recommend the 'Milk Hot Chocolate' for the best one you will ever taste! They all cost £2.80, apart from the Traditional which is 5p cheaper. Expensive, but 110% worth it!
      Traditional
      White
      Extra Dark
      Milk
      Traditional Light Hot Chocolate (30% less calories!)
      Mint
      Amaretto
      Hazelnut
      Almond
      Strawberry
      Banana
      Cinnamon Apple
      Cinnamon and Orange
      Chilli Hot Pepper
      Amaretto and Rum
      Cherry
      Rum

      ~*Desserts*~

      If you still have enough room, I recommend buying one of the divine desserts displayed in the counter. They are made daily and there's such a wide range - definitely worth trying. If you are a little full, I'd get a scoop of Italian ice cream. I get the chocolate flavour regularly and its lovely. You can also get a scoop of sweets and a Liqueur Coffee.

      ~*Snacks*~

      If you come here for lunch there is a great selection of paninis, for £5.95.

      ~*Cleanliness*~

      There are only two toilets at Casa Mia (women and mens, and I think there may be a disabled one as well, I'm not sure). They are cleaned regularly and the whole restaurant is extremely clean.

      ~*Family Friendly?*~

      The staff are very child friendly, they are always chatting away to the young ones and keeping them occupied, and even give each child a free Kinder egg after the meal! The thing is, there is no children's menu and the portions are very large.

      ~*Events*~

      Casa Mia holds Gourmet Evenings and wine tasting at Casa Mia Grande, along with Cookery and Wine classes. They hold special menus and evenings for special dates such as Christmas, New Year, Valentine's Day etcetera. They have a special 'Mums and Toddlers' weekday menu.

      ~*In The News*~

      Casa Mia have participated in the StreetSmart campaign to help the homeless, and have become the first Italian restaurant in Leeds to be awarded an AA Rosette.

      ~*Loyalty Card*~

      You can sign up for a Casa Mia loyalty card and get exclusive rewards and discounts all year round.

      ~*Other*~

      For more information and to shop or make reservations online, please visit:
      http://www.casamiaonline.com/

      ~*Overall*~

      A restaurant which I visit over and over - definitely my favourite restaurant in Leeds. I love everything about it and recommend it to anybody in the area. The meals are well worth the price - in size and quality - and the atmosphere is exactly as it should be. If I could, I would give it a million stars! Utterly fantastic.
      I hope I have included everything you would want to know. As always, any feedback greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read! xx


      ~*Update*~

      I emailed Casa Mia Online just to send a link to this review letting them know what I thought of it. I received a reply via emal:

      Thank you for your review, it was really great to see someone who loves Casa Mia and wants to share it with people. We were really pleased with the review, although I would like to point out that Coffee Shop are always willing to make smaller portions of food for children! We have tried a kids menu at Coffee Shop before but most of our customers are regulars and already know what they want, and the staff are always happy to help!
      And I definitely agree with you on the Hot Chocolates! Best ever!
      Thanks once again for the fantastic review.
      Kind Regards

      So, there you have it, they sort of do do childrens meals! Great stuff, I will let my mum know that for future visits when we take my little sister!

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