Friday, 16 March 2012

Casa Mia - Millenium Square Leeds

Please note this establishment in Millenium Square is now closed - you can however still find them in Chapel Allerton

I've only visited Casa Mia once before and it was the one in Chapel Allerton, I was quite 'tipsy' at the time so it wouldn't be fair for me to compare the two.

The Millenium Square restaurant is in a much more favourable location for us due to where I am living at the moment. My friend has never been to Casa Mia, and I remembered that although a little tiny bit drunk last time I rather enjoyed it.

So this is where I decided to go on date night last Saturday.

Casa Mia is about a 10-15 minute walk from Leeds train station (dependent on size of heels). On the corner of electric press it looks out over the water fountain at the bottom of Millennium Square with views of the LGI and Thai Edge.

My first impression was that it was smaller than I was expecting, the ground floor dining area is relatively compact and there is a small coffee house just opposite. We were greeted immediately and shown to the first table we set our eyes upon. I wasn't overly impressed by the table as it was almost out in the hallway and drafts were to be expected.

We sat down and the waiter offered to take my coat which I allowed due to my coat being quite long although my friend held on to theirs fearing they may get chilly later on. The menus were given to us and we were left to work out for ourselves which were the food ones and which were the drinks ones (it wouldn't have harmed for a bit of direction here). I was taking a considerable amount of time deciding what to have to drink, as I couldn't decide whether I wanted white or red wine. By the time I had managed to decide the table next to us vacated, we took this opportunity to ask to be moved. The table next to us was in a nice little corner beside the window sheltered from the incoming drafts.

Our waiter looked a bit perplexed when he returned as we had switched tables with the aid of another. Another waitress brought over my half bottle of Cabernet and my friend's coke. The wine was fairly full bodied with a smokey after taste (which later went really well with the smoked ham in the antipasto which I shall move on to shortly). I thought it was really quaint that there was a part of the vine attached by ribbon to the bottle. A really nice little feature.

For starters we decided to order the meat antipasto to share. I ordered the antipasto last time, however the one on the menu this time was advertised as 'new' and did seem a little different, and a little smaller too.

Apologies for the picture we were starving by this point and began to dig straight in and share it out, but you get the basics.

There were three different types of ham, which were all very nice. There was a large piece of thinly sliced cheese, and two small balls of mozzarella which was a bit disappointed as I love mozzarella and would have liked some more cheese in general. There were also a couple of pickled onions, not entirely sure what they were pickled in to make them purple however... Some salad but not a lot. I've had larger antipastos for the same price or cheaper, I think for £8.95 they could have squeezed some more on the plate.

We both ordered pizza for or mains, I opted for the the classic pepperoni, which comes with hot pepperoni and chili. My friend ordered Quattro Stagioni, which comes with hot pepperoni, salami, peppers and onions. We both really enjoyed our pizzas and even managed to eat the whole thing crusts and all (which can never quite manage). There are really rustic looking pizzas, the ingredients taste really fresh and mine was quite spicy but not overly so.

We noticed whilst we were eating our meals that there was a tilted mirror on the ceiling above, which meant we could see what everyone else was eating on the other tables within the restaurant. One table of four ordered four calzones, and this seemed to be a popular choice across the board.

Once we had finished our pizzas we decided that we were actually still hungry and could both eat a dessert each... which also never happens, although this may be down to the fact that we had barely eaten all day. We asked for dessert menus and both decided that we wanted Mango Cheesecake... when the waiter came to take our order he told us 'no mango cheesecake, we have chocolate or one strawberry'. So we ordered a chocolate and the last strawberry. I was supposed to have the strawberry one but then saw the chocolate one when it was popped on our table and my friend agreed to swap. I'm so spoilt.

The cheesecake was OK it was nothing special, and I did struggle to finish it as it was very heavy. My friend finished their cheesecake no problem and then had a cafe latte. They said the coffee was OK, I did notice the table next to us had to send theirs back complaining it was too cold.

Once we had sipped up we asked for the bill. We were surprised when it came as it was £77! Then I noticed than a bottle of wine which we hadn't ordered had been put on there along with a 10% service charge... We told the waiter that there was a mistake and a bottle of wine had been added to our bill that I certainly didn't drink... a bottle and half of red wine I would have been on the floor and under the table by the end of the meal! There was no apology from the waiter and he spun around and looked accusingly at our table, where he could only see my lonesome half a bottle of wine. He simply said that he would remove it and gave the bill back to us. Due to the rudeness and the general lack of service we decided not to pay the optional service charge but just to round up the total and leave our own tip which felt was a reflection of the meal.

Really good pizzas, the antipasto was slightly disappointing. The service was far from great. We did notice that larger groups and one hen party were being led upstairs away from the quieter customers which we really did appreciate, the largest table downstairs was a four and it was a family with older children, this kept the atmosphere in tone. I feel other restaurants could learn from this.

We probably will visit Casa Mia again, but with no high expectations of service and will most likely not order the antipasto again. There are a few seats outside which could be nice in summer, but there aren't many of them.