Piccolo Mondo dinner review by Renfrewshire Foodies
After being deprived of the simple pleasure of dining out for months, Renfrewshire Foodies had an excellent reintroduction at a local stalwart.
With restaurants and venues starting to reopen again, it’s more important than ever to continue to show support for our local independent businesses as they begin to bring staff back into work and serve their customers once again. With that in mind, Mill’s resident epicureans in the Renfrewshire Foodies headed out to Renfrew, to visit local institution, Piccolo Mondo, an award-winning, family-run Italian, to try out the evening menu.
Located in Hairst Street, it was clear when we arrived that Piccolo Mondo has a loyal local following! We received a warm welcome from Jim, who seated us at a socially distanced table where we felt perfectly comfortable.
Piccolo Mondo is considered somewhat of an institution in the area. Manager Lio pinpoints their “from the heart” welcome as the key to customers returning week after week. There was no rushing around, we were invited to take our time, have a chat and mull over the menus before committing to our dishes.
We had a couple of options available to us – either the à la carte menu or the great value pre-theatre menu, offering everything from one to three courses. Our evening started with some complimentary bruschetta which we enjoyed while deciding which menu we would order from.
As always, we asked the staff for recommendations of dishes to try. A few long-standing favourites were highlighted to us, such as the spicy Italian sausage, pasta princess and seafood linguine. The ethos of Piccolo Mondo is to serve Italian classics to its diners, yet still adapt to the times.
After a chance to catch up on our news, we took the decision to go for two courses on the pre-theatre menu, starting with terrine of pâté, made with chicken & duck and served with toast. Kudos to the staff who recognised I’d worked my way through the bread rather quickly and brought some more out so I could finish my starter!
Emma, our other Renfrewshire Foodie, tried the aforementioned spicy Italian sausage as her starter – a classic dish from Tuscany, served with spices, borlotti beans and garlic bread.
Moving on to mains, we tried one of the vegetarian options – the pea and asparagus risotto – as well as an Italian classic in the form of chicken milanese. Both mains were generous portions and we enjoyed being able to chat over our food and really enjoy the experience of eating something cooked by someone else for the first time in what feels like forever!
Despite committing to two courses early doors, Jim, our host, suggested we couldn’t possibly leave without having a dessert. A bit of jovial arm-twisting later and we’d agreed to have one between us and a coffee each to end our meal. We were glad we did – the tiramisu was worth holding out for!
Possibly the highlight of the visit, apart from said tiramisu dessert, was seeing other diners out again – from a family celebrating an 80th birthday to a couple out for their anniversary, it was heartening to see everyone was enjoying a bit of normality. Local eateries and venues are the lifeblood of the community and it was also fantastic to see the staff of Piccolo Mondo chuffed to be back to work, serving customers in the restaurant again.
In short, Piccolo Mondo provides all you’d expect from a family run Italian restaurant, providing a relaxed atmosphere, a classic yet expertly rendered menu and hearty portions to suit all ages.
Oh, and about that tiramisu, it’s a must!
63 Hairst Street, Renfrew, PA4 8QU, 0141 885 1011, piccolomondo.co.uk