Casamia, Bristol

With so many places to visit in Bristol I feel like my life revolves around food. New independent places keep cropping up all of the time, I can barely keep up. But at the moment, I’m pretty happy exploring some of the more well known places, which includes Casamia.

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Casamia opened in 1999 but began it’s transformation in 2006 when brothers Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias took over the family trattoria. Their parents put them in charge of the kitchen, allowing their passion for food to fully flourish. Since then the restaurant has gone from strength to strength earning a Michelin star in 2009, Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant in 2010 and Bristol Good Food Awards Best Restaurant two years in a row.

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Casamia is located in Westbury on Trym, with only one menu that changes seasonally, allowing them to use the best British produce available. The soft furnishings and decor change to reflect the seasons too, enveloping all senses into the experience.

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We went along for lunch a few weeks ago, not long after the Summer menu was unveiled. The lunch menu is a reduced down version of the main menu, which can also be upgraded to a wine flight menu – having a selection of wine that compliments the meal.

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First up was the quiche lorraine. A silky soft, creamy filling encased in pastry, topped with crispy bacon. You could down in one, but I decided to savour the moment by taking small bites.

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Not on the menu but a pleasant surprise was a serving of chunky bread and proper butter.

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Going back to the menu, next up was a mozzerella summer salad.

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Beautiful, vibrant colours that jumped off the plate. A great combination of textures with the crunchy radishes and the soft droplets of mozzarella almost hidden beneath the exotic salad leaves. I could quite happily eat salads everyday if they tasted this good.

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The next course included wasabi which I was a little skeptical about as I’m not a huge fan. The main feature was the Hereford-cross beef that was so full of flavour the wasabi complimented it well and wasn’t too offensive. The carrots brightened up the dish, presented in a variety of different ways; pickled, braised and dehydrated. A true winner.

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Another favourite of mine was the Ox cheek dumplings with summer herbs. The meat was rich and super flavoursome,  accompanied by a bowl of freeze-dried herbs and creamy dip.

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The following course was our transition dish, transitioning our palates between mains and desserts. When you first tuck into the dish you are experiencing the savoury flavour of peas, however the further down you get, your taste buds get a hit of sweet lemon and ricotta. If I didn’t know if before, I was definitely ready for pudding then.

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Dessert was a variation of strawberries – fresh, dried, sorbet’ed with droplets of vanilla cream and vanilla shards. Lovely and light, refreshing and a looker.

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And just in case we hadn’t had enough we were treated to little sweet treats of raspberry cake and chilli fudge.

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Each course was served to us by a different chef, with a detailed explanation of what had gone into the dish and how it had been created. A fascinating insight into what was happening in the kitchen. The passion for the food shone through each chef.

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Thank you Casamia for an exceptional dining experience and incredible food. Will see you soon to check out the Autumn menu.

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