IN the current economic climate our High Streets are suffering.
So when you find a little gem of a business then you should shout about it from the rooftops.
Dinnington is no different and on a cold and windy Monday night I found a little gem in the middle of Laughton Road.
According to its website Paulos Restaurant is a restaurant with Mexican flavour and Italian flair. With that promise, I was expecting a meal full of flavour and spices and my partner and I made our way to the restaurant.
When we entered the restaurant was empty – not the best of signs, but in its defence it had just opened for the evening.
The chef told us to sit anywhere and soon, who I presume was Paulo arrived, apologising unreservedly for not being there to greet us when we arrived.
He told us about the special offer – two courses for £10.95 – and quickly took our drinks order. With wine for as little as £9.95 a bottle and two largers for £4.95, it was difficult not to order something stronger than a cola.
The restaurant soon got a little busier with every guest being greeted and chatted to like they were old friends.
After looking down the special offer menu I decided to have the funghi diablo to start – a mushroom and bacon dish in a garlic, white wine and chilli tomto sauce. My boyfriend, who is a little fussier with food decided to order a garlic bread, also part of the offer, and Paulo agreed that this could come with our main course.
When my starter arrived I was pleasantly surprised.
I was greeted with a bowl full of mushrooms and chopped bacon in a delcious sauce. I enjoyed every forkful which was bustling with flavour.
It wasn’t long until our main course arrived. My pasticcio al forno - a pasta baked dish with chicken, mushroom, bolognese sauce, basil and mozzarella cheese - was steaming as it had come straight out of the oven.
It was delicious - although a bit too much mozzerella topping for my liking. I struggled to finish the huge dish infront of me, but not for the want of trying.
The accompanying garlic bread was really tasty too – a pizza base covered with garlic and tomato.
My boyfriend’s margherita pizza was huge and he soon devoured it all. He said the base was fluffy, with the right amount of tomato and mozzerella topping.
After deciding that we simply couldn’t eat a dessert, although it was only an extra £2.95 if you’d ordered from the specials menu, we went to pay the bill.
Paulo was busy taking a booking for December - a good sign of how popular the restaurant is. We left the restaurant with smiles on our faces, the bill had come to under £25 and we’d been given a packet of Haribo each as we left!
By Sam Chetwynd