Pazzo: First look review of ‘one of the most exciting new restaurants’ in Bristol

It’s the sixth opening for this family-run business and their biggest yet

Fans of Bristol restaurant favourite Pasta Loco who were distraught when the Cotham Hill venue closed in July will certainly find plenty to smile about at new opening Pazzo.

Run by the same team and just around the corner, Pazzo occupies a site on Whiteladies Road that has a long history in Bristol hospitality.

For the past two decades, it was Bar Humbug and before that it was various bars and restaurants in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Pazzo is the sixth opening from the Bianchis Group, a family-run Bristol business with cousins Dominic Borel and Ben and Joe Harvey at the helm.

It’s their biggest and highest profile opening and, needless to say, table bookings are coming in thick and fast already. On the opening night, there were plenty of old Pasta Loco regulars checking out the new replacement.

Local resident Alison told Bristol World she was ‘thrilled’ that Pazzo had opened even closer to her house. She said the Montgomery Cheddar risotto with wild mushroom agrodolce was the best risotto she had ever eaten. High praise indeed.

The food is essentially Italian but many of the dishes have global twists and turns, such as the curried goat tortellini and the octopus carpaccio with yuzu, Calabrian chilli and Wye Valley agretti.

A smoky skewer of juicy and tender veal was paired with a silky anchovy aioli and a punchy puntarelle kimchi with plenty of heat and spice.

Velvety ribbons of pappardelle pasta were served with fresh Cornish crab, charred leeks, nori and chilli oil. It was a wonderful dish and, not surprisingly, one of the best-sellers of the evening.

Also excellent was the fillet of tender hogget lamb with sweet slow-roasted San Marzano tomatoes, buttery potato aligot and a fiery, garlicky chimichurri.

From the short dessert menu, a rich and bitter chocolate almond torte with zabaione and espresso caramel cream was a decadent way to end the meal.

After six openings, there seems to be no stopping the Bianchis Group, which is now a force to be reckoned with on the Bristol restaurant scene.

With Pazzo, they have moved things up a notch again in terms of food and service in a venue that has skin in the game when it comes to Bristol hospitality over the past 25 years.

With three months to go, it may still be premature to say Pazzo is the most exciting new restaurant to open in Bristol this year, but it’s certainly a serious contender.

And if you scroll through these 12 ‘first look’ photos, you’ll see the stylish decor is more than a match for the delicious food.

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