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Member Name: star3683
Advantages: Good quality food, friendly service, free filtered water, good special offers
Disadvantages: service charge added to bill
Strada is an Italian restaurant chain owned by Tragus Ltd. The Nottingham Strada restaurant is located on Burton Street and is part of the cornerhouse entertainment complex. The restaurant is quite large and has a modern but cosy feel about it.
My mum and I last visited Strada in November 2010 after I had converted my Tesco clubcard vouchers into Strada restaurant vouchers so thought I would treat my mum to a meal out. We had been to Strada a few months before and had a lovely meal so though we would go and try some more of the menu. Strada takes part in the Tesco Clubcard scheme which allows you to convert your Tesco clubcard vouchers into 3x the amount of restaurant vouchers, you can then use them to purchase food but not drinks. Although Strada often has many promotions on either the Money Saving Expert website or by registering to receive the Strada newsletter through the restaurants own website.
When we arrived at the restaurant the matradee desk is located just inside the entrance. All of the seating is located on the ground floor although some is slightly elevated if you wish to sit near to the window. There is also some outdoor seating, but this would only be suitable in the warmer summer months. We were quickly greeted and shown to a table next to the window, although the view is not the best I do quite like to people watch. It was around mid-afternoon on a Friday and there were quite a few people in the restaurant, sometimes when I pass Strada in the day it is often empty but busy in the evening. As we were shown to the table we were also given the food and drinks menus.
We were waiting around 10 minutes before our waiter came over and took our drink orders as well as our starter and main courses as we told him that we had already decided what we would like. He was very friendly and told us that our drinks would be with us shortly.
On this occasion for starters I opted for the Funghi Timo e Crema (£4.95) a selection of mushrooms with garlic in a cream, porcini and thyme sauce on grilled polenta and grana pandano. My mum chose the Bruchetta con Peperonata (£4.95) a ciabatta with warm caramelised pepper and onion peperonata, crumbled goats' cheese and fresh basil. For the main course both my mum and I choose to have the Saltimbocca di Maiale (£12.95) a fillet of pork with sage and Parma ham with potato puree, green beans and a white wine, sage and butter sauce. We also ordered a bottle Il Padrino Bianco White Wine (£13.95) which was described as having juicy fruit salad flavours from sunny Sicily.
The waiter quickly returned with the bottle of wine and asked if we would like to try it before he poured us full glasses. He also brought over a complementary bottle of filtered water which I think is a great touch and wish more restaurants would do this as I do not like to pay for bottled water but can be made to feel a little mean if you ask for tap.
The starters soon followed, they were both a good size and looked very presentable. I have never had grilled polenta before but was rather impressed as it worked fantastically with the mushrooms. My mum's bruchetta was also very good and had a wonderfully fresh taste. Our main course came out around 10 minutes later and was as also lovely, the pork was tender and melted in your mouth and was complemented beautifully with the sauce.
Our waiter did come over to us both during the starter and the main course to check that everything was alright with our meal. He also offered us the coffee and desserts menu after we had finished the main courses. We decided to treat ourselves and both chose a dessert which does not seem to now be on the menu but was like an amaretto and chocolate cheesecake served with whipped cream (£4.95). When the dessert first came over I did think the two triangular pieces on the plate looked rather tiny. But as soon as I began to eat the dessert it became clear that in fact the two pieces were rather generous as they were very rich and indulgent and I did almost struggle to eat it all.
I did also make a trip to the ladies while in there which is on the upper floor so quite a few steps to contemplate but I did notice a disabled toilet on the lower level making the restaurant fully accessible. The ladies toilets were very clean and fresh smelling, fully stocked with toilet roll and even hand cream.
When I asked for the bill I presented the waiter with our Tesco restaurant vouchers which he happily accepted. The bill arrived and was all correct, although I will warn you that Strada do add on a 10% optional service charge to the bill. This is something that I do not like at restaurants as I like to decide for myself whether the service and food quality has been good enough to justify leaving a tip. In conclusion it was a great meal with good service and I would recommend anyone liking Italian food to try it. Strada have a great selection of dishes from, pasta, pizza, risotto and salads.
Also keep an eye out for discount vouchers by signing up for the Strada newsletter on their website www.strada.co.uk or by visiting www.moneysavingexpert.co.uk
Summary: excellent quality Italian restaurant for reasonable price