28 November 2013

Zeffirellis, Ambleside (restaurant review) [by @NLi10]

Sometimes you stumble upon a place that seems like it was custom made for you.  This is one of those odd examples.  While on holiday recently in the Lake District (specifically Ambleside) I noticed a restaurant that was linked to the town cinema and offered a combo deal. I picked up the leaflet, joking that we could do that when it was too rainy to do walks.  As it turned out it barely rained at all, but it did get dark early.  This left us with nice long evenings to sit and read or to enjoy the local area so we ended up at Zeffirellis.  All we knew going in was that it was an Italian restaurant.  One look at the menu when seated told us much more.

Turns out it is an all vegetarian restaurant! This meant that Ms. NLi10 had the unusual option of a whole menu to choose from and so had to take extra time to figure out the best selection.  I feel if we'd realised this sooner that we could have eaten here multiple times.  The actual restaurant was very posh and the main courses were around £10, which made the £18 two courses and a movie deal pretty good value.

One of the dishes on offer was a rainforest pizza that donated enough money to buy an area of rainforest 40 times the size of the pizza. This also meant we got to do some mental maths for free, calculating the size and what could live there.

The toppings were fairly standard for a home-pizza with lots of things I like such  as chillies and spinach and peppers, but what was probably most interesting was the base.  As frequent readers will know, I love odd textures, and the rough base which was both crisp and made from a course flour was an absolute delight.

It really didn't take long to demolish, and it was spicy enough to linger but not enough to burn out the flavours.  It was also satisfying enough that I didn't notice the lack of meat on it.

Seeing as we'd already paid for both courses it seemed rude not to go for an epic pudding!

In the background you can see my partners apple cheesecake which was also nice (and still veggie) but I dug into my pile of red flavoured ice creams and top quality wafers.  It almost defeated me but I did manage to get there in the end!  It wasn't as special as the pizza (the cheese cake was pretty unique though) but was a good finale to a wonderful meal.

Then we went to watch Thor 2.  THis was also good, and it turns out the cinema(s there are three!) are owned by the same guy as the restaurant and they've been doing this for years.  The screen we saw the film on wasn't huge but it was sharp and the sound quality was good. 

We had a nice chat afterwards with one of the people running the place and found out a bit about it and that they also do the live Theater in cinema productions that we like.  If we were locals we'd have to investigate some kind of discount scheme!

All in all a very positive trip and one that has made us keen to go back to the area. Well worth an excursion if you are anywhere in the Lake District and have similar tastes to us.

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