My son Seth turned one on Monday and his Mum Katie returned to work a couple of weeks ago so we are now splitting childcare. Wednesdays are now daddy day care, an opportunity for me to spend some one on one time with the baby and begin to introduce him to all those things that dads should.
One of my priorities is to take him to lots of interesting independent businesses and have him try lots of different foods (I admit there may be a slight ulterior motive but I can’t help it if Seth’s education requires this kind of thing!).
When I was working at Norse the other day I looked after a table of guests from Otley including Josh Sutton from The Guyrope Gourmet. Inevitably talk moved to where is good to eat in Otley. It’s not somewhere I visit that often so for this first trip out with Seth I decided to hop on the bus (just in case there was beer/wine to be had) and check it out.
The main recommendation from Josh was to visit ‘A Casa Di Alessia’ for pizza at lunchtime. I didn’t know where it was so on arrival we had a quick recce and bumped into Josh and his wife Anne-Marie who were having a bit of breakfast in that very place. After a quick chat we headed off for a circuit over the river and around the park – which is actually great and something we’ll be coming back to visit again when the weather is a bit better.
And so to the main event….
A Casa Di Alessia is not the prettiest building inside or out but the couple that run it are charming and immediately asked if I needed a high chair for Seth and made me feel welcome. Josh was still here, having another meeting with supporters of the Green Party about doing some fundraising. I was quickly starting to think that perhaps he owns shares in the place.
The food on offer is primarily pizza, flat and closed, with some other options such as pasta and bruschetta. They also bake their own breads. We ordered a couple of slices (Margarita and spiced chilli) to start.
Seth is going a little ‘diva’ at mealtimes right now so after he flatly refused to eat his pizza and threw some of his other bites on the floor I asked if they would be able to knock up some pasta for him. Of course they could, butter and olive oil was offered but I opted for some tomato sauce. ‘Is he a vegetarian?…because the sauce has some meat through it’ – nah!
Pasta was hoovered up in it’s entirety by Seth and the fennel salami calzone polished off by me.
All that food came to the grand total of £9.60 so you can’t argue with the value and the service was very pleasant – I’d definitely come back again.
I was tipped off that there was a great craft beer shop next door and that place was ‘The Curious Hop’.
The shop is packed full of good beer and owner Marcus is happy to talk about whatever interests you when it comes to beer. The stock is ordered by countries and then within the UK by regions and brewers.
He stocks many of the breweries that we already have in Norse but also lots more. What caught my eye in particular was some beers from the North-West of England, Chorlton Brewing Co especially. Naturally I had to purchase a couple to takeaway.
Subsequently I’ve been in touch with Chorlton Brewing and we are looking at getting hold of some of their stuff for the restaurant. As a bonus we’ve also been able to introduce them to our foragers, so perhaps they’ll be using some of the good old Yorkshire green stuff.
So, all in all a successful first trip out. I’m looking forward to the next one and deciding where to go.
Any suggestions very welcome in the comments below……..