Cielo Taste of Italy Giveaway

Gorgonzola with steak and chunky chipsRecently, I reviewed our lovely dinner at Cielo, Brindley Place, Birmingham.   Now I can offer readers the chance to experience the food and atmosphere of this quality Italian restaurant.  Winners will get to sample the Taste of Italy menu.  On arrival you’ll be served a Bellini, which is just about my favourite champagne cocktail.  To nibble on there’s a selection of artisan breads and marinated mixed olives.

Once you’re settled, you can choose from a range of three starters, three mains and three desserts.  My pick of the starters would be the Porcini and Oyster Mushroom Risotto, but there’s a meat and a fish choice too.

Main courses look tempting too with a Fillet of Farm Assured Beef with Chunky Chips or Lemon Sole with a White Wine and Lemon Butter Jus.  What’s particularly generous is that the vegetarian option is any vegetarian choice off the à la carte menu. 

As for dessert choices, there are some of mouth-watering options.  I’d be torn between the Raspberry Pannacotta and the Dark Chocolate Fondant, but there’s also a cheese option if you prefer.  To finish there’s coffee and petit fours.

The Taste of Italy menu costs £65 per person.  I have a dinner for two from this menu to give away.

Competition Terms and Conditions

1. No bulk, third party or automated entries.

2. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older.

3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.

4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.

5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.

6. Competition closes on 23 April 2014.

7. The winner will need to book in advance and restrictions may apply.
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Cielo Restaurant Review

duck two ways
Duo D’Anatra

We hadn’t been to Cielo for a few years.  I can’t remember exactly when, but I’m guessing 3 or 4 years ago and that wasn’t our first visit by any means, so this is a well established eatery.  For a restaurant to survive that long in the bubble that is Brindley Place and Broad Street, says a lot I think.  So many restaurants come and go and only succeed in drawing in custom for a short time, by coming up with some sort of novelty factor or going for heavy discounting.

Cielo is at the upper end of the middle range of restaurants, just a step below a fine dining establishment.  As my husband works nearby, we often walk past in the evening and it usually seems to be pleasantly busy.  It’s the sort of place you might pick for a family celebration or a date night out with your other half.

Gorgonzola with steak and chunky chips
Bistecca Al Gorgonzola

I started with the Gamberoni All’Aglio, a dish of pan-fried tiger prawns, which were sautéed in white wine, with fresh chopped parsley, chilli and garlic butter.  The prawns were nicely cooked, but needed a generous coating of the white wine cooking liquor to pick up on the flavours.  If you love duck, like my husband, then the Duo D’Anatra is a real treat.  There’s a confit of Gressingham duck which uses the flavoursome leg meat to good effect.  The other way the duck is presented in the form of a ‘bonbon’.   Served with a Swiss chard salad and a Grand Marnier reduction, this is a memorable dish and one that I think we’ll be ordering again.

For my main course, I was in a hungry mood so I opted for the gutsy Bistecca Al Gorgonzola. Now I’m not usually a fan of blue cheeses, but the gorgonzola really went well with the sirloin steak, helping to bring out the flavours, and the chips were simply divine. It was all brought together with a complementary red wine reduction.

Cielo Tiramisu
Tiramisu

My husband opted for the Merluzzo Al Pomodoro.  This is Scotch cod with chorizo sausage, borlotti beans, garlic, chilli, basil and passata sauce.  As you’d expect the sauce is strongly flavoured with these tastes of the Mediterranean.  The cod was a fraction overcooked maybe, but the very slight dryness of the fish was compensated for by the depth and complexity of the sauce.

Doesn’t this Tiramisu look simply divine?  It’s very much a classic take on this most Italian of desserts with its characteristic amaretto flavouring.  As my husband’s favourite dessert is tiramisu, it was no surprise to me when he picked this one out off the menu to finish our meal.  It’s a nicely generous helping too and beautifully presented.  As you’d expect it slid down very nicely.

CREMA BRUCIATA
Crema Bruciata

Meanwhile I opted for the Crema Bruciata.  This is an orange flavoured crème brûlée, served with glazed orange segments and cape gooseberries.  This was delivered with a light touch and was a very elegant dessert.  I’d have liked a little more orange flavour in the crème brûlée as I felt it could take a bit more.  It was a gorgeous dessert though and one I’d happily order again.

 

 

Beech’s Chocolate Bars

 Beech's Chocolate BarsNow I’m very lucky to be working with Beech’s Fine Chocolates at the moment and I must admit I was intrigued by the idea of trying out their new chocolate bars range.  The bars are nicely presented and are a lovely way to give yourself (or a friend) a quick treat.

Beech’s Chocolate Bars come in these flavours:

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Milk Chocolate
  • White Chocolate
  • Anglesey Sea Salt Milk Chocolate
  • Lime & Chilli Dark Chocolate
  • Natural Ginger Dark Chocolate

Now I’m a real dark chocolate fan and a good quality one is always a winner.  Beech’s dark chocolate contains a minimum of 55% cocoa mass and is very tasty without being over bitter.  The milk chocolate too has been popular.  It’s a smooth, mellow bar with a thick milky taste.  A revealation to me was the Anglesey Sea Salt Milk Chocolate.  I was a bit nervous about trying it as it seemed a strange flavour combination.  I need not have worried, it was amazing.  The salt really sets off the chocolate.  Very much recommended.

The good news is that I have two sets of the Beech’s chocolate bars range to give away to readers of A Little Luxury For Me. To enter simply follow the instructions in the rafflecopter below. If you’d like to order some Beech’s chocolates for yourself you can use the discount code BFC18031410 which is valid until the end of April and will get you a big 15% discount.

Competition Terms and Conditions

1. No bulk, third party or automated entries.

2. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older.

3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.

4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.

5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.

6. Competition closes on 10 April 2014.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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