FOOD: GIGIS CUCINA

We walk through the doors without a reservation – it looks busy but the waitress is quick to find room and set us up a table for two. The atmosphere is relaxed yet sophisticated and the food is affordable quality. I like the open kitchen where diners can witness the chefs cooking in real time, and even grab a chat with him when he isn’t too busy with orders.

Gigi’s Cucina is a family-run, authentic yet contemporary Italian restaurant situated on Oakbrook Road. Although having only recently opened its doors in winter 2014, the venue is already popular with local residents and word is quickly spreading further afield.

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Making the most of fresh local ingredients, Gigi Cucina serves quality authentic and contemporary Italian food that includes well-known classic and original Italian dishes including fresh pastas, seafood and handmade pizzas, with a special emphasis on seasonal dishes.

The wine list has something for every budget. The venue’s focus is on value and quality – they carefully hand-pick all of the wine, from the most expensive bottle to the best-selling house wine, all of which are chosen to fully complement the dishes.

A basket of complimentary freshly baked breads and oils arrived for us to graze on while we browsed the menu and the friendly waitress informed us of the daily specials. Each lunchtime the venue offers additional lunch options for a ‘budget buy’. For £6.50, diners could enjoy a creamy mushroom spaghetti dish or a spicy tomato pasta.

We ordered the creamy mushroom spaghetti and a vegetable risotto. At first glance, the portions looked relatively small but the rich ingredients soon filled our stomachs.

Complete with two soft drinks, we were happy to receive a bill for a very fair £20.

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