Celebrating 25 years at Europa, the restaurant has been an ever-present foodie fixture feeding Bristolians for a quarter of a century. That is some achievement, particularly in light of such fierce competition with the city’s foodie expansion. A big fan of Europa for many years, I was keen to equate myself with their latest menu.
To celebrate their fine 25-year achievement, Europa has recently undergone a refurbishment. The results are rustic, comfortable with hints of contemporary. Adopting an extensive use of reclaimed wood and exposed lighting cables, there’s definitely an industrial feel in the air. What’s more, restaurant owner Teresa, pointed out the paintings of Florence commissioned by Europa to a local artist. This was a lovely and thoughtful touch reminding of their roots in Italy.
Onto the food…
My unwavering passion for cheese does worry me at times, however, it didn’t stop me from ordering ‘Mozzarella in Carrozza’, mozzarella, deep fried in breadcrumbs with a spicy tomato sauce. It was absolutely wonderful! Making me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, the textures of the sauce were superb. The only remark I can bring myself to make is that it could’ve done with a dash more of chilli. However, this didn’t detract from the flavour combination though. Creamy cheese wrapped in a well-made tomato sauce is always a wonderful thing.
With so many options to choose from the menu, as well as the specials board, it was tricky to select a main. I eventually decided on a meat course, ‘Saltimbocca Alla Romana’, pan fried duck breast filled with mushrooms, berries and creamed truffles in a rich port sauce – a promising combination. It was accompanied with a dish of roasted vegetables and sautéed potatoes. The port sauce was the highlight for me, it was certainly rich and very flavoursome. The portion of duck was generous, as are all of the dishes – people certainly leave Europa feeling satisfied and full.
For desert, I opted for a classic apple pie. It was a warm, hearty and honest desert, accompanied with a traditional vanilla ice cream. Again, classic cooking and most satisfying.
Europa has a genuine warmth to its atmosphere, food and most importantly, its people. It’s a family run business with staff who have clearly known one another for many years. It’s an informal dining experience, one where you feel comfortable and welcomed whether you’re one of their many, many regulars or not.
The menu provides a variety of options, is very family/kids friendly and designed to satisfy you with its flavours and healthy portions.
If you’ve not yet popped into Europa during the last 25 years then fear not, you’ve not missed your chance just yet as this Bristol classic looks like it’ll not be going anywhere too soon.
Roll on the next 25!