Intro: This is not a food blog. Until a week ago I wasn’t quite sure what this blog was about; that was until I decided to focus on all things family. Therefore, a review of a restaurant under the subject heading “Kid’s Meal” is not just about the quality of food enjoyed by the parents, but the overall experience of a visit for the family – especially our children. Any actual comment on food will be done from a general, rather than specific food blogging perspective.
We booked our table at Salvo’s on Friday lunchtime for that evening’s dinner session. We tend to book for 5.30pm so that we can miss the post-work rush – whilst also avoiding any minor tired/hunger related tantrums likely to occur during a later sitting. We stated on the call that there were four of us, although only three of us would be eating. We do this to ensure we are not put on a smaller table for three, with little room to position the car seat if Harry is asleep. I was assured that this would be noted on our reservation.
When we arrived, we were shown to a table for four, just to the edge of the main flow of access in the restaurant. Lauren is a terrible fidget – she gets that from me – but even so, she did not get in anyone’s way where the table was positioned.
There is a kid’s menu with six main items, a pudding and free kid’s drink (two small bottles of apple juice) for £5.95. Lauren ordered a pizza with three toppings (which was one more than the menu advertised). The pizza looked to be 10 inches in size (or at least I imagined it to be, as I compared it to those limited release, coloured vinyl records I would buy in the 90s). We were asked if we wanted it served as a starter or main course. As Lauren was sharing a portion of calamari with Amy, we had it served with our mains.
It was because of the calamari that the pizza in the end, proved to be too big for Lauren. It was well cooked with a generous topping of ham, mushroom and peppers. Lauren managed three (of eight) slices before it dawned on her that she had to leave room for pudding. I think the pizza would have been too big even without the starter. Pudding was two scoops of very rich chocolate ice cream with three large marshmallows and chocolate sauce. Lauren eat the marshmallows but only finished one scoop of ice cream.
There was an activity book with the meal, though it wasn’t specific to either Salvo’s or Italian food. It was a general Yorkshire book with a word search, colouring and spot the difference activities. We were given crayons to complete the book.
Salvo’s prides itself on being a family run restaurant. There are photos of the current owners, with their family, through the ages. The staff have obviously been instructed to provide a warm, friendly atmosphere – of which it was when they had to come to the table. It doesn’t quite reach the level of an Italian restaurant – here or in Italy – that has a more natural connection with family being at the heart of a meal. No one came over to talk to us, to check on Lauren, unless they were bringing us food or taking something away. They were happy for us to take our time over our food.
A visit to Salvo’s offers an enjoyable dining experience – with an excellent value kid’s meal – sat alongside a very good core food and wine menu for adults. Were it not for the fact that I had chicken in a spicy ‘nduja sauce and Amy had venison pasta (both perfectly cooked), we would be more tempted to order Lauren calamari as her own dish, and let her pick from our plates if she wanted more. It felt a waste sending half a pizza back (it wouldn’t get eaten if we boxed it up and brought it home).
We were offered a high chair for Lauren and there was space for Harry’s pushchair if we needed it.
Advice: Go early, ask how big the kid’s plates are when ordering and make sure to ask for extra space if needed for babies that are not eating.