'AT OUR TABLE' WITH SARAH CRIPPS

WELCOME TO OUR NEW BLOG SLOT, “AT OUR TABLE” WHERE WE ARE FEATURING LOCAL, LIKE-MINDED BUSINESS PEOPLE, WHO ALSO HAPPEN TO BE FRIENDS OF OUR BUSINESS.

First to the table is the energetic Sarah Cripps who, with her business partner Jo Walton, runs Salad Skills. 

Market Harborough based, Salad Skills are dedicated to sourcing apprenticeship and learning development solutions, aiming to help recruit and steer people like us through the complex and ever-changing world of apprenticeships.  Their innovative and honest approach has won them national recognition and commendations.

Sarah and Jo also launched the Business Lunch Club, KRESS, who meet at The Lighthouse monthly. . . again, they offer an innovative approach to networking in this forum, with the emphasis on really getting to know people and working together for the benefit of all local businesses. . . very refreshing!

Sarah’s energy and enthusiasm are boundless, she is a Tough Mudder regular and incredibly fit!  She is also tireless in her efforts to support her local community with various local and charitable events benefiting from her input.


When did you first dine at Boboli or The Lighthouse?
I first dined at Boboli but I can’t tell you when that was. . . .at least 10 years ago I reckon!

What prompted you to visit us/how did you hear of us?
Friends recommended

What’s your favourite dish at Boboli?
Ooh just so many to choose, I literally could eat anything off the menu                               

At The Lighthouse?
Love all of the seafood dishes and can’t choose, sorry, because they’re all so creative and delicious.

What is it you love about our restaurants?
What apart from you two?! I’ve never been to Italy but I imagine a restaurant there to be like being welcomed home by the family and that’s how I feel when I eat at Bobs or The Lighthouse. It’s more than going out for dinner.

Do enjoy cooking at home?
Yes!                                          

What’s your own speciality?
Sunday roast

What are your views on food trends?
I love to try things I’ve never heard of or hadn’t thought of fusing together

Do you have any of your own special dietary needs?
None

Do you believe it’s still possible to enjoy eating out even if you have special dietary requirements?
Yes, although I’m sure it must be restrictive

What style of food/country of origin is your favourite?
French/Italian/Spanish

Do you enjoy wine?
Ha…yes

Which is your favourite?
Champagne naturally.

Is Gin a tipple you enjoy?
Oh yes

If so, do you have a favourite flavour or brand?
No, but love a rhubarb gin with ginger

If tempted, which is your cocktail of choice?
Espresso Martini

What would you particularly recommend about Boboli and The Lighthouse when mentioning the restaurants to your friends?
You’re always guaranteed great food and a huge welcome, lunch or dinner, summer or winter.

Grazie mille to Sarah for entering into the spirit (we knew she would). I hope you’ve enjoyed this new blog post with a difference.

See you at a table near us soon.

Sarah x


20TH ANNIVERSARY QUIZ

Q10 How often does the KRESS Lunch Club meet at The Lighthouse?

Just answer in the comments below and we’ll enter you into our prize draw celebrating our 20th anniversary!  (Please be sure to put your email address on your comment so that we can contact you if you’re one of our lucky winners)

Look out for other 20th anniversary quiz questions on our future blog posts.  Prize draw winners to be announced on 1st January 2020.




Posted on September 20, 2019 .

The Good Food Guide and Accolades

Pretty much since the beginning of time, or at least since the year after we opened in 1999, we have been included in the most reputable guides. Recognised by the critics, applauded by the foodies and we won some fabulous awards along the way too. Boboli also gained recognition as soon as we opened the doors in 2007.

Lighthouse GFG 2020 16x9.jpg

Next week sees the release of the latest Good Food Guide, the 2020 edition, and we are so very happy and extremely proud of our wonderful teams as both The Lighthouse and Boboli feature. In fact, there are nine listings for our county, Leicestershire and Rutland, two of which are us! 

But what is it that the restaurateur seeks?  Do we chase the stars and hanker after the accolades that may be bestowed upon us by the critics and the guides, or do we keep our heads down, focus on the quality, look after our customers, and hope that rest will follow? I suspect in all honesty that it is a combination of the two, plus a healthy dose of looking after our team and the business to ensure that it is sustainable. Preening our feathers and patting ourselves on the back often leads to taking one’s eye off the ball!!

Historically critics and restaurateurs enjoy, if that’s the word, something of a love hate relationship. . . they just can’t help loving hating each other, and hate loving each other too!  Truth be known, our egos get in the way, of course they do.  We all love to be praised, and see our names in print, but we are incensed when the critics get it wrong, or in our view get it wrong.  It’s the unanswerable question of who knows best and just how objective are we able to be about our own place? 

Equally the critics love the sound of their own voices, by their very existence they have their own egos to massage!  With the added complication of social media and open platforms inviting the public to critique us too, it is something of a minefield to manage.

Meanwhile, us restaurateurs continue to beaver away, hoping that the people eating today will appreciate our efforts, and that we will get it right for all the people all of the time!  Above all, hoping and praying that our passion, and love, for this crazy, crazy business will be rewarded with success.

Of the guides and critics, we could wax lyrical for hours, but it is really the approval of our customers we most seek.  Your recommendations are what really make the difference; it’s not about jumping through hoops to please the powers that be, but pleasing you, the diner, who lives down the road, and visits because you want to, because you like what we do.

For that support and encouragement, we say Grazie Mille

S xxx


20TH ANNIVERSARY QUIZ

Q8  What year was Firenze first listed in the Good Food Guide?

Q9  What year was Boboli first listed in the Good Food Guide?

Just answer in the comments below and we’ll enter you into our prize draw celebrating our 20th anniversary!  (Please be sure to put your email address on your comment so that we can contact you if you’re one of our lucky winners)

Look out for other 20th anniversary quiz questions on our future blog posts.  Prize draw winners to be announced on 1st January 2020.

Posted on September 13, 2019 .

Pasta-licious!!!

pasta shapes.jpg

Pasta, pasta and more pasta . . . that’s all it’s about really . . . well, it’s what this blog post is all about anyway!

Back in the days of Firenze when we made our own pasta, yes, all of it was hand made in the Firenze kitchens, and what a delight it was, I think the most popular and somewhat famous dish amongst our regulars was the Raviolo, that is one big Raviolo as opposed to lots of little ravioli!!!! (did you know that an ”o” on the end makes it big and an “i” makes it small 😊).  This one was stuffed with spinach and ricotta, and nestled in the middle at the top was a perfect egg yolk.  Gently simmered in boiling water, the pasta was perfectly cooked and yolk still runny as you cut into it . . . doused with yummy sage butter, it was simply divine!

Lasagne della Nonna

Lasagne della Nonna

It was when I first met Lino that I became aware of the idiosyncrasies of Italians and their thoughts on which pasta “belongs” with which sauce!!  After all, the Italian’s should know, and they are amazingly particular and precise on the subject!  The sauce and pasta combos are a mix of traditions and genuine technicalities, such as how long the pasta takes to cook and the density of the pasta.  The shape can affect how well a sauce will coat the pasta, for example larger shaped pasta works well with a more chunky, meaty ragu (ragu is an Italian meat sauce), a traditional Carbonara is served with spaghetti and pasta with a textured surface will lend itself to more light and delicate sauces.

Linos fave is Aglio Pepperoncino, simple chilli and garlic and spaghetti.  At Boboli the all-time favourite must be our Lasagne della Nonna, and yes it really is Lino’s Mamma’s recipe with the hidden extra layers of cooked ham that just take the flavours to another level.  We often serve the classic Buccatini (spaghetti with holes through the middle) Puttanesaca, favoured by ladies of the night perhaps, Farfalle, little “butterflies”, work a treat with smoked salmon, chives and cream.  Pesto Genovese is a wonderful dish with the classic fresh basil pesto, chunks of potatoes and green beans, one of my faves this is, especially when it’s with Garganelle, a kinda twisted penne!!

 
Lobster Spaghetti

Lobster Spaghetti

At The Lighthouse, “Stracci e Pesce”, literally translated as rags and fish, that is rough cut pasta with delicious fresh cuts of fish in a saffron cream sauce always scores well, but then there really is nothing quite like our lobster spaghetti. . . spaghetti in a lobster bisque, with lovely succulent chunks of fresh lobster, if we are feeling flush . . . or tiger prawns are a welcome more affordable alternative.

Either way the pasta debate goes on in earnest, almost as earnestly as we seek to serve it!

Ciao for now!

Sarah x


20TH ANNIVERSARY QUIZ

Q7. Which is Lino’s favourite pasta dish and which is mine?

Just answer in the comments below and we’ll enter you into our prize draw celebrating our 20th anniversary!  (Please be sure to put your email address on your comment so that we can contact you if you’re one of our lucky winners)

Look out for other 20th anniversary quiz questions on our future blog posts.  Prize draw winners to be announced on 1st January 2020.

 

 

Posted on September 6, 2019 .