This is a wonderful step back into a past that is quickly being forgotten and a complete contrast to the ‘modern’ restaurant. It has crisp white linen tablecloths and carefully folded huge white linen serviettes. Waiters are attentive and friendly but not obsequious. Vegetables are served onto your plate and fresh home made bread is served from a massive tray before you order. I was taken back to special meals out in my youth.
The restaurant is popular and it was obvious many diners were regular visitors. The average age was high – both diners and serving staff. This is a place appreciated by the silver haired generation. It is described as an Italian restaurant although the set Sunday lunch was a mixture of Italian and good honest traditional roasts.
It is an attractive long low white building set back from the road. Inside walls are painted pale cream with tables on the ground floor as well as on mezzanine with the bar. I was treated to a meal by my sister and brother in law and we settled into a window table.
Eating a thick slice of very good granary bread we perused the menu. There was a choice of five different starters and mains and it was a difficult decision. We were offered more bread and, although strongly tempted, I decided to leave space for my meal – a wise decision.
I decided to be adventurous and began with deep fried boneless fillets of sardines in breadcrumbs served with a selection of mixed leaves. The tartare sauce was served separately from a large bowl. The sardines were moist and decidedly more-ish. A very acceptable way of getting your portion of oily fish. I had been very tempted by the penne with chicken in mushroom in a white wine sauce which my brother in law chose. It looked very good and was a very generous helping, almost worthy of a main course. My sister went for the mozzarella with avocado puree with rocket leaves.
For the main course, I decided to be boring with the traditional option of a roast. It was a toss up between roast lamb (which sister said had been very good last time they visited) or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. The beef won. This was four slices of very tender roast beef which was still slightly pink in the centre. The Yorkshire pudding did let them down as it had been kept hot for too long and was a bit tough. Vegetables were served separately and included broccoli, mange tout, carrots and roast potato wedges with rosemary. Again the horse radish sauce was served from a bowl and was good and hot. It was a big plateful and very good. Brother in law chose chicken breast in red wine and sister poached salmon with lobster sauce. Both looked good and again were generous size portions.
The desert was sheer greed and again I was spoilt for choice before deciding on tiramisu. This was a very generous helping and very alcoholic. I dread to think how many calories. Brother in law had profiteroles and sister panna cotta. We were offered cream but declined. There was no room for coffee afterwards and in fact I didn’t want any supper either!
Service was leisurely. This is not the place if you want a quick meal. Even though the restaurant was full there was no attempt to hurry diners.
I had made the mistake of reading Trip Advisor reviews before visiting. Don’t believe everything you read as this was variously described as an upmarket old peoples home, God’s waiting room or a time warp for the elderly. I can understand why the young and trendy may feel that, but it is doing La Meridiana a disservice. This is an old fashioned place that sets store on good service and interesting food well cooked at a reasonable price. What more could you want?