Delivino, Auchterarder

It’s not often I make return visits to restaurants, preferring instead to write about new places but I loved Delivino‘s so much the last time I visited that when OH and I were looking for somewhere to go for lunch we decided to head back to Auchterarder, knowing we’d get good food. (if you’re interested about our last visit you can read about it here ).

We arrived without a reservation and a cheerful waitress happily offered us a table in the busy Italian restaurant on the high street in Auchterarder (less than 2 miles from Gleneagles). On the wall there was a full blackboard of specials and a happy relaxed buzz about the place. Given all the available menus, we took our time making our choices and ordered our drinks.

On the specials board there was a Ham hough terrine with sweet pickled vegetables and toast, which we decided to share as a starter.

Unfortunately, but I guess unsurprisingly for the 27th of December, the seafood linguine was off but rather that than unfresh mussels and prawns though. Instead, I opted for Truffled Mac and Cheese – Tallegio & smoked cheddar sauce with truffled breadcrumb topping, with garlic ciabatta because it’s not often mac n cheese sounds so good. Although, it was a hard decision as there were fantastic sounding dishes like the venison, juniper and redcurrant stew and seabass with fennel, chorizo and white bean cassoulet.

OH ooohed and aaahed between the risotto and the ravioli but then decided on the Penne Arrabbiata – Garlic, olive oil, chilli in a tomato sauce – as he didn’t want anything too heavy.

Now here is the clever bit about Delivino’s as they offer a small and a large portion of their pasta. I often get tired/bored with a large plateful so this is ideal for me. OH then (maybe I was a little too persuasive) also opted for the smaller portion size – perhaps I also mentioned we could order some Truffled Parmesan Wedges too and I might also have murmured that he could get a dessert if he ordered the smaller one. (I didn’t say out loud he could have had one anyway).

Our starter arrived between us and looked lovely. We were also offered more toast but declined. The pickled vegetables with the terrine were a highlight but it would be unfair to say the terrine came second as it was just as good. The chargrilled toast was a delightful addition to the well balanced starter.

Throughout our meal our waitress was extremely attentive, friendly and joked with us about OH having to have non-alcohol lager and a smaller portion, which we were having a laugh about.

My macaroni cheese arrived in a hot (please don’t touch the dish) plate and looked great. OH’s portion looked small and I immediately felt bad for suggesting it but he assured me it was a deep dish.

My mac n cheese tasted great with the topping being the best bit. However, the sauce was thin and for once I wanted my mac to be a bit more stodgy. The first slice of accompanying garlic ciabatta was great but by the time I got to the second it was a bit soggy and chewy. It didn’t stop me eating it though.

OH’s Penne Arribbiata disappeared and did not disappoint as the chili gave a nice heat and left a fresh taste. When I asked about the size of the dish he agreed it was the right size for him after overeating on Christmas and Boxing day. The wedges were also fantastic by the way.

Unusually, after watching all the women coming in and looking at the desserts on offer before sitting down, I decided I might try a sweet. I even took a pic of the dessert blackboard for you. However, there were no sorbets left so I decided to go without. OH asked for the chocolate orange mousse but annoyingly, when the waitress suddenly reappeared, it was with the news there was none left. He then also decided to go without and just kept his order of a coffee. Obviously, I was more than happy to finish the carafe of wine I had ordered as I wasn’t driving.

Our extremely attentive and friendly waitress then appeared with 2 spoons and a huge slab of chocolate brownie, which she placed between us. “I’m sorry. We can’t have you leaving with neither of you getting the dessert you wanted. Especially after the non-alcoholic beer and small portion. We need to fix this.” She then smiled and left us to gorge on the fabulous rich chocolate dessert, which was so nice I forgot to take a pic of.

The meal, ambience and service was fantastic and I am sure that any other day of the week they would have had a full menu. I’d highly recommend Delivino’s either in Auchterarder or Crieff. GO VISIT.

A shared starter, 2 small pastas, a side of wedges, a carafe of wine and a non-alcoholic beer £42.50

Golf Inn @ Ladybank, Fife

Recently, OH had heard the pub in Ladybank was under new management and was now called the Golf Inn. He’d also heard good things about it so we decided to give it a go. When we arrived we were offered a table in the dinning area next to the fire and shown the specials on the board.

The decor was fresh and clean with grey tartan checks and wood. Later when we went into the bar area there was a snug with comfy leather club chairs and a wood burning stove.

We were given menus but the barman/waiter quickly removed the board and told us the soup was now lentil and not tomato, ale and cheese (?) I might be making the cheese bit up but it did have another ingredient. It also (I’m pretty sure) had smoked haddock and chips written under it.

The menu was proper bar lunch stuff. There was a range of starters including Cullen Skink and the mains were Steak pie, fish and chips, pasta, burgers, scampi and chilli. All reasonably priced. The back of the menu was dedicated to pizzas – obviously a speciality.

One of the main reasons we were out for food was that OH wanted a hot bowl of soup to heat him up so he went for the lentil soup followed by steak pie and I decided I would just have the smoked haddock on the specials board, which had now been rubbed out but my order wasn’t questioned.

As soon as the soup arrived OH dived in and I forgot to take a photo so just imagine there are 2 pieces of crusty bread with 2 bits of butter on top in the photo. The soup did not last long so I can assume it was just what the doctor ordered.

When my fish arrived I was a little disappointed to see it was just fish and chips. I had thought by ordering the smoked haddock from the board it would be a tad different but nope it was just fish and chips and when I say just, I mean just. There was no tartare sauce or peas! Saying that though, the dish was great. The batter was crispy, the fish (not smoked) was fresh and the chips were spot on. Yes, I did miss something to mix it up a bit and would have loved some mushy peas but I survived.

OH’s steak pie was laden with large chunks of beef and much to his delight the pie had a bottom, which is maybe why he didn’t complain about getting his pie in a bowl. He did say though, the meat wasn’t chewy and was falling apart in his mouth. In contrast to my dish, he had thousands of peas.

OH ploughed though his half cow in a pie but was now so stuffed he couldn’t manage a pudding but I did notice a blackboard with daily offerings from £3.95.

We went through to the bar area for another round of drinks and in the snug there was a large group of friends with children enjoying pizzas and pints with footy on the box and everyone looked very relaxed and comfortable. Sadly, there was no room in front of the fire but the atmosphere was warm enough.

All in all, service was friendly, food was great and it was exactly what you want when you want a proper bar lunch.

One starter, 2 mains, 1½ pints of cider and 2 soda water and limes = £32.