Ah, Mediterraneo! Although Italian food in Brighton isn't quite as dire as it used to be (with Cin Cin and real Neapolitan pizzerias finally giving us the real deal), there will always be a place in my heart for this restaurant.
Whilst the new places have appeared with their modern aesthetic and Instagramable fixtures, Mediterraneo is one of those increasingly rare restaurants; cosy, warm and hopelessly romantic. They have it all with their candelabras, crystal water decanters, baroque tablecloths and silver napkin rings, yes NAPKIN RINGS!
Their set up is also their USP. Run solely by a husband and wife team, their attention to diners in their tiny restaurant, open Friday and Saturday evenings only by reservation, is second to none. Giorgio out the front is probably the best host in Brighton.
The menu doesn't change very often. Hardly at all in the past year I'd say, but it doesn't matter. Although the food isn't the best Italian food on the planet, and reinvents nothing, Sonia isn't a professional chef but she does put out beautifully presented food served with a lot of love.
The arancini mignion were still there, each with a different filling and served with a cute decorated bread basket. It's a lovely little starter and I prefer arancini small like this. These are filled each with ragu, spinach and salmon.
This time I chose the cod dish which was a beautifully light dish. The fish is steamed and served with courgettes, capers and garlic in white wine. I don't know what variety of potato they use but they were so sweet and perfect with the delicate fish. If this is on the menu on my next visit, which it probably will, it will be hard not to order again.
Sonia's real talents lie with dessert though. The cakes I've had here have been some of the best I've tried. The limoncello torta is good but I adore amaretto and the fluffy layers of sponge with cream were just gorgeous.
The wine list has been well considered and Giorgio takes great care to ensure you choose a good option for your food choices. Also, they have the best stocked Italian liqueur selection in Brighton. Vecchia Romana, grappa, marsala...most Italians finish the meals with a digestive and possibly some cantucci biscuits, so it would be rude not to indulge.
I've been out of the dating game for many moons (thankfully, looking at the scene these days) but this place is ideal for that special dinner. I say put that stupid Tinder app down and go for an old fashioned, classic date here. It's perfect.
2A Clyde Road