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.
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.
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.
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.