Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Broadening Our Pizza Horizons at Acapella

It is a truth universally acknowledged by parents across the land that when it comes to dining out with little 'uns sticking with what you know is the safer choice when it comes to restaurants. Children have rigid tastes with regard to eating out, and when they say they want a Margherita pizza, what they're actually saying is that they want a Pizza Express Margherita pizza. If you deviate from this request you will be in trouble. A Margherita from Zizzi, or Strada, or anywhere else, for that matter is not the same thing. They're contrary so and sos, kids. 

The good news is that just when you thought you were doomed to spend every future culinary experience in an identikit chain restaurant, staring at an unchanging menu while a white noise of '90s nu-jazz washes over you, in between emphatically checking with the waitress that the orange juice definitely does not have bits in it, your kids suddenly grow up. No longer do you have a couple of culinary dictators on your hands but rather reasonable little people who are quite open to the idea of TRYING SOMEWHERE NEW. Yes, it's great fun and happens sometime around the ages of 8-9 years old. On a less positive note, this new-found maturity will cost you. Your child will suddenly develop a huge appetite, consigning those halcyon days of children's menus and sharing a pizza to the past. So, finding good value, good quality restaurants to celebrate your new-found freedom is what it's all about.

Our personal quest to do just that led us to a lovely little restaurant called Acapella over the weekend. Located on the Wells Road, a few minutes' drive from Temple Meads station, Acapella has carved something of a reputation for itself on rewiew website Tripadvisor. Based on user reviews the website has named Acapella the UK's best independent pizzeria. It's gained lofty praise from The Guardian newspaper, too, and was voted Bristol's best cafe in the 2012 Bristol Good Food Awards. Despite being home to a large Italian community, good, independent pizzerias are surprisingly thin on the ground in Bristol, so we were interested to see if Acapella would live up to the claims touted on its website and the wider press. 
The 'Glissando' pizza. Delish.

In terms of quality and prices, it is indeed spot on. The other advantage it boasts is that it's one of the few BYO establishments operating in Bristol, charging just £1 per head corkage, a no-brainer when it comes to slashing pounds off your bill. 

The pizzas we tried were very good indeed, and come in two sizes; a 12-inch is ample for filling up kids with seemingly bottomless stomachs, but 'piccolo' child-size pizzas are also available at just £4.95 a pop. We should have probably skipped a starter of garlic pizza bread, delicious though it was, and saved room for the really flavoursome, authentic style pizzas that we'd chosen as mains. I'd opted for the 'Glissando', which combines the standard tomato and mozzarella base with caramelised onions, sun-dried tomatoes and capers, a mix of flavours and textures which works fantastically well. We shared a 'two tomato' salad and should have stopped there, had it not been our first time at Acapella which made sampling the dessert menu seem a non-negotiable. Desserts err on the cakey-side and are perhaps a little limited but the option we plumped for - the sticky ginger, orange and cinnamon cake - was delicious but not an obvious choice post-pizza when you perhaps fancy something a little lighter to offset all those carbs.
Diet? What diet? 14 inches of pizza heaven

Acapella has a lovely, intimate atmosphere. It's not big and within minutes of taking our seats the rest of the tables had been snapped up, and those remaining were already reserved. A bit of a secret to those of us living further afield, Acapella is obviously a much-loved local institution. We were served by exceptionally friendly, attentive staff and while the general vibe is perhaps more cafe than restaurant, this only adds to the genuine, unpretentious charm of the place. Our kids loved the novelty of eating somewhere beyond the confines of our usual stomping ground, and it was nice to introduce them to somewhere 'unbranded', as it were. 
Small but perfectly formed

So, our mission to find great, family-friendly eating establishments has got off to a flying start and we will definitely be back to this fab little independent in the future.

To find out more about Acapella visit the website here

And to see what other people thought of it, check out the reviews on Tripadvisor



  1. There's me thinking I have it all in London, which I suppose I do, but am seriously impressed with the range of options you have in Bristol, many of which seem a fraction of the price of similar offerings in 'the smog'.

    1. Hello and thanks for your comment! Yes, Bristol has lots to offer if you're a bit of a spendthrift like me. I love London but the compact nature of Bristol make it really easy to discover different little corners of the city and enjoy some cool stuff without the hefty price tag that makes lots of the capital's experiences prohibitive. It's well worth making the trip out West if you ever get the opportunity!



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