The first class gaming floor of Birmingham’s independent Broadway Casino is to be found in a surprisingly theatrical-looking listed building spicing up the entertainment offering in the city’s Broadway Plaza.
Awarded the sought after Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, Birmingham’s leading independent casino has been described as ‘elegant’ with a ‘laid back atmosphere’ and a ‘great vibe’. I can guarantee these three statements are undeniably accurate. But we were not here to try our hand at gambling (although of course we did have a go). We were here to sample the menu. Not many know Broadway Casino for its Italian style dining options that have been available since the beginning of this year so it was our job to test out ‘The Restaurant’ experience.
Four of us, all beginners and mostly unfamiliar with casino etiquette, arrived at the eye catching building glowing a glamorous purple from the inside and were greeted by two very friendly and helpful security guards. Our details and a quick snap of each of us were taken at reception for security and we were warmly welcomed into the venue by our attentive Hostess Angela who showed us around with a mini-tour, which approvingly ended at the bar. As novices we felt confident under Angela’s wing who then introduced us to ‘The Restaurant’s’ manager Roberto. The charming restaurant manager came to join us at the bar and guided us through the varied Italian menu and wine list leaving us for just long enough to deliberate over the tempting choices and change our minds several times.
The restaurant sits just behind the bar with a great view of the casino but slightly set back giving a real VIP feel being lavishly decorated whilst slightly raised from the gaming floor and gracefully sectioned off. Treating us to traditional, chivalrous service and courtesy, Roberto always attended to ladies first, pulling out our chairs and pouring our wine with the top class service of a true gentleman. From his chatty nature we discovered his real passion for authentic Italian cuisine and his love of Rome as well as his rich career history working in prestigious restaurants all over Italy. From this, and his compelling Italian accent, we were more than happy to go with his recommendations.
A humble wine connoisseur, Roberto suggested the Ripassa Valpolicella Classico Superiore; a velvety, aromatic wine produced at an Italian vineyard and aged for 12 years, a wine that the restaurant manager recommends to follow meat dishes before seafood. To start we delved into two of ‘The Restaurant’s’ tasty bruschetta trios, which were perfectly drizzled over with olive oil and beautifully presented. The first topping on the toasted fluffy bread was the N’Duja salami and mozzarella cheese. The slightly fiery salami came in a chunky paste that had a warming gentle spice that was excellently accompanied by the tacky texture of the mozzarella. The classic Bruschetta Basilico with garlic, cheese, tomato and basil was super fresh and juicy with a crisp chill that delightfully followed the heat of the salami.
As recommended by our attentive server, we selected the seafood stuffed Risotto Frutti di Mare for one of our mains to go with our chosen wine. The rice with shrimps, prawns, mussels, clams and squid were served in a light tomato sauce. The texture of the risotto was a crucial element to our diners’ satisfaction and the result was a creamy loose consistency that oozed off the spoon with no sign of over-stodginess and gloopiness – a more than pleasant smoothness that was clearly created in mind of the large bowl being loaded with varied hefty seafood making it not too filling before you’re even half way through. The tastes were rich without being too heavy and allowing the full flavours of the seafood to take centre stage.
The Penne Primavera; a pasta with asparagus aubergines, courgettes, broccoli, peppers and mushrooms in a white wine and cream sauce is a delicious and interesting alternative to be appreciated by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. The white creamy sauce dressed the crunchy broccoli florets and mouth wateringly sweet cherry tomatoes gorgeously and the tender courgettes added a welcomed zest to the tubes of pasta. A plentiful, flavoursome pasta that is filling and light at the same time.
Fresh, fresh, fresh is the best way to describe the Penne Bella Napoli! The pasta is tossed in a tomato sauce and the bowl is stuffed with chicken and topped with a roasted pepper. The salsa type heat of the tomato sauce that smothered the perfectly cooked penne had a definite kick to it with a hint of chilli that was powerful whilst allowing the freshness and aroma of the tomato and basil to take hold of the taste buds as well. The chicken was grilled to a smoky perfection with a slightly more dry quality that contrasted very well against the mushy pepper and abundance of sauce.
The Margherita pizza is a classic of Naples with tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil with a crispy stone baked base. A crunchy crust surrounds the luscious melted cheese and fresh tangy tomato sauce that hits the mouth with a mild acidic infusion. Having had real authentic Roman Italian stone baked pizza in our time; this was certainly a true homage to Italian cuisine. ‘The Restaurant’ Margherita pizza is the closest in quality and incredible taste that we have come across since our pizza gorging in Italy over two years ago.
Desserts for us consisted of a rainbow of flavoured gelatos that were silky smooth and rich in flavour served at the right chilled temperature to allow all flavours to reach the taste buds in full. We also had profiteroles that were light and fluffy drenched in rich chocolate and presented prettily with strawberries. And in true Italian style we finished off with a tall glass of a sorbet, Prosecco and Limoncello cocktail.
Stuffed and feeling like VIPs in the secluded area with a view of the buzzing casino setting, we were approached by Angela and invited for a casino lesson. Entertainments Manager Antonio and Croupier Maria gave us a hilarious private lesson of Roulette and Black Jack and even got us acting as Croupiers ourselves to help us really understand the different bets that can be placed and the odds on each.
Broadway Casino and ‘The Restaurant’ provides the perfect night of food and entertainment. Ideal for a date with a difference or for friends looking for a glamorous yet laid back night out with no dress code required.
The casino and its restaurant provide an extremely fun night out with an exciting buzz in the air that individuals can take at their own pace and a quality Italian menu on top.
‘The Restaurant’ is well worth a visit even if you don’t fancy any gambling.