Cobb Salad with Blackened Chicken
Yesterday evening, I was invited along by the guys at Bitters ‘n’ Twisted to test out the new menu at one of their venues. The Rose Villa Tavern is right in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, housed in a beautiful building, originally built by Wood & Kendrick for Michells & Butler in 1919. The building is stunning, and a favourite spot of mine, with it’s stained glass windows, tiled floors and dark wood bar. Not the first place you’d expect to find an excellent cocktail list, and a menu straight from an American Diner.
But that’s exactly what the Rose Villa Tavern offers. I’ve been a fan for a while, and a regular visitor. Naturally, the invite to taste the new menu was very, very gratefully received. A gang of bloggers descended on the pub to munch their way through nachos, burgers and whole lot of brisket.
Grilled Avocado, Chorizo and Warm Cherry Tomato Salad
The manager came down to talk us through the new menu items, which are all American classics, with a focus on good quality, simple ingredients. The salad above, which includes cherry tomatoes, avocado and chorizo, is gently warmed, causing the avocado to begin breaking down, creating it’s own salad dressing. We were all also very impressed by the The Hipster Pasta Option (which I didn’t manage to get a photo of before it was scoffed). The pasta is an entirely vegan carbonara, with a surprisingly creamy sauce made from puréed cauliflower. We expected, as one taster put it, “a bowl of bland,” but it was tasty and flavoursome. Good work, RVT.
Pulled Brisket Cannelloni
The Pulled Brisket Cannelloni was my favourite of the new items. 16 hour slow cooked Texan beef brisket, and smothered in rich tomato sauce and cheese. Melty, gooey, briskety deliciousness. This would be the ultimate comfort food. I’m a sucker for brisket anyway, so I was sure to love this, but oh, it was good. I’ll be back to order this for myself soon.
Crispy Fried Chicken Wings
The Chicken Wings are a Rose Villa classic, and always popular. These were everything you want from wings – piping hot, with a light, crisp batter and plenty of meat on. They could have done with just a touch more seasoning, but that would be being picky. These were so popular that the manager had to bring down a second portion, after the first lot was devoured almost instantly.
Juicy Lucy Burger (I think)
What diner menu would be complete with a good range of burgers? Rose Villa Tavern serves a great range, from your classic bacon and cheese and brisket topped burgers, to the more unusual halloumi and a fish burger made from a beer battered cod fillet. I sampled a burger topped with pulled pork (delicious), and the fish, which wasn’t really for me, but seemed to be popular with the fish fans in the room.
I think the stack of clean plates and empty cocktail glasses shows what a good time we had. Everything we tasted good old classic diner food, well cooked, and very enjoyable. The manager was clearly passionate about the food, talking us through the process, and asking for our feedback – which he genuinely seemed to take on board. The bar staff are great too, friendly, chatty and with great expertise in their cocktail making. I lost M for a good half hour, chatting to the bar staff about cocktail shaking techniques and different kinds of gin…
The whole night was great fun, and I definitely recommend visiting the Rose Villa Tavern for good cocktails and leaving very full and contented. If you can manage it, I also highly recommend Brumderland, Brum Hour and Full To The Brum as dinner companions, for chat including drag kings, the trouble with Batman and hiding the Lego before Skype calls with clients. That might be harder to manage though…
Insider tip! Get yourself an Independent Birmingham card to get 20% off food during the week, and there are regular offers if you have a Bitters ‘n’ Twisted loyalty card. Bargain…