The Italian Job

Issue 98

After a hugely enjoyable "boys lunch" during Christmas 2022, I had vowed to return one day to the lovely Rosa 12 in the heart of Low Fell.

Despite recently battling a virulent strain of man flu I had recovered sufficiently for my Lisa and I to finally make the short trip from Northern Insight HQ and we certainly weren’t disappointed.

This is one of the region’s longest established Italian restaurants which aims to bring back the buzz of the old Italia whilst providing something new and exciting to capture the imagination of the good folk of Low Fell and beyond.

Greeted by the warmest of welcomes from restaurant manager Alex we were shown to a lovely spacious table upstairs where we found a lively throng of diners whiling away the last hours of the weekend .

The décor is a neat fusion of the old and the new as they’ve created a lovely open plan dining area complete with leather bound chairs and mocha horizontal shutters. Splashes of block red and white emulsion combine with spot lighting to create a modern interior whilst the monochrome wall imagery and waxed Chianti bottles provide a quaint throwback to Little Italy.

If the surroundings were impressive then the Sunday menu was no less so. Over a lovely chilled glass of Pinot Grigio we nibbled on some warmed bread and green olives and planned the afternoon ahead.

Lisa kicked off with the classic prawn cocktail, served in a martini glass brimming with plump prawns, fresh lettuce, tomato and cucumber in a gloopy marie rose sauce.

Working on the old adage of “you have to feed a cold” I selected that old comforter potato skins with garlic mayonnaise. A lovely tasty and indulgent treat.

Following on Lisa chose the delightful Sunday lunch with the star of the show the perfectly roasted chicken, a golden masterpiece of crispy skin and succulent meat.

She declared the roast potatoes a revelation – crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they were a heavenly pairing with the flavourful chicken whilst the seasonal vegetables, a colourful medley of carrots, peas, and green beans, added a freshness that balanced the richness of the main dish.

Meanwhile this carbohydrate junkie tucked into Pizza tandoori packed with jalapenos, peppers and red onions. An interesting twist to the usual classic Italian fayre which ticked all of the boxes.

Totally replete it would be coffees over desserts.

Despite looking rather diminutive from the outside, Rosa 12 is actually anything but and boasts three levels of floor space, each possessing their own unique charms. Fortunately, after a most agreeable meal we got the chance to have a quick explore and discovered that the ground floor is actually a popular spot for coffee and cake whilst the basement is a fully renovated cocktail bar tailormade for live music and private functions.

Defined by low ceilings and lower lighting the “Lugano Cellar Bar” offers a trendy, rustic ambience. With all this to offer then Rosa 12 struck me as a surprisingly multi-faceted venue with enormous character.

Through the week there are also funky happy hour offers, steak night deals and a sumptuous à la carte menu.

Rosa 12 is an absolute winner. I’d meet you anytime you want, at this Italian restaurant.

For more information visit rosa12.com

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