Italian Delights at Filini

Italian is by far my favourite type of food. I think I am Italian sometimes. I watch too much Nigella (who also likes to think she is Italian), my name means "Little Gem" in Italian and Italian men are also pretty easy on the eye.... 

When I was asked did I want to come an Italian restaurant with one of the best looking menus I had seen in a long time, I jumped at the chance. Filini is situated within the Radisson Blu Belfast which is located at the very handy Gasworks. I actually forgot just HOW handy it was. I went with my friend on the night I finished my post-graduate course as a little celebration. She parked at Limelight and we were able to walk over to the hotel. When you walk into the Gasworks it almost feels like a different world. Although it is in the city centre, it is so calm and serene. There is a huge pond and water-feature outside the hotel. The restaurant looks out on to this with ceiling to floor glass. It felt like a welcome change from the lack of views or extreme hustle and bustle from other restaurants. The restaurant is bright and airy. It does not feel like a standard hotel restaurant which can often feel very impersonal. 

We opted to visit Filini mid-week and the restaurant was quiet but still seemed popular with a few people on dates, girls night's out and business dinners. My friend does not eat gluten so it was interesting to see how she could manage the menu. I started off with some lovely flatbread and focaccia which I dipped into a super tasty balsamic vinegar and oil mix. The flatbread was amazing (so much so that I came home and investigated how I could make such a tasty treat.... needless to say, too much effort!). The staff were so lovely and brought my friend some gluten free bread so she could taste out the balsamic oil mix! We then had some of the Stuzzichini which are essentially mini starters/tapas style bites. I had the bruschetta which was light and tasty and my friend had olives. For the main meal I opted for a steak. I know, bit boring there G-Lou, but I always think a steak is a measure of a good restaurant. The rib-eye was absolutely massive and came accompanied with confit garlic and rocket salad. This in itself would have been enough but of course, I had to order some of the mashed potatoes with rosemary butter and garlic (Good thing I'm single... garlic galore!). The mashed potatoes were the most divine thing. I do have a real soft spot for mash potatoes in general but combined with the steak, they made the most comforting and satisfying meal. My friend opted for the swordfish. I must admit that I am not a fish fan but it looked lovely. She opted for a side of roast potatoes which were very more-ish! I must point out that the restaurant were also really helpful when my friend explained about being gluten free. They said they have gluten free pasta which is always good to know for anyone with that dietary need. We accompanied our meal with Pinot Grigio Blush which was light and sweet. It made a nice balance for amount of garlic we were consuming! 

After dinner, I have to admit I was very stuffed but no review comes without dessert. I opted for the Chocolate Tart (which was very rich and decadent) and my friend opted for the Pistasho ice-cream. Both were delicious and were a nice end to the meal. 

I definitely will be back to Filini as the setting and food combined to make a very pleasant evening. It would be the perfect location for a celebratory dinner or a relaxed Sunday lunch.

To book a reservation at Filini, call 028 90 434065.

That Belfast Girl