Food Time

Buonissimo in Harborne review

Many restaurants have sadly not stood the test of time in Harborne, Birmingham, yet Buonissimo is a true stalwart after more than 20 years. Located on the high street of this popular suburb, this family-establishment has become an understated jewel in the city’s dining crown with a loyal customer-base. Having not been to Buonissimo for a few years, I was keen to revisit one of my favourite haunts, and share this review with my readers.

Seasonal menus

Serving fresh, modern Italian cuisine, the menu changes three times a year. This makes the best use of seasonal produce, with many ingredients sourced locally. Guests can anticipate an array of creative and delightful starters and main courses spanning meat, fish, vegetarian and pasta dishes.

Some of the most popular dishes remain on every seasonal menu including the Pane Rustico con Aglio al Forno. This is crusty rustic bread, served with a whole bulb of slowly-baked, fresh garlic. This must-try is a melt in the mouth delicacy.

This approach means that you will always be getting the freshest ingredients in your dishes. And while you’re sure to find something new and inspirational, there’s a selection of firm favourites that you can revisit time and time again.

Buonissimo in Harborne review

On my most recent visit I was incredibly impressed with the menu choices. There was so much I could have chosen, as it all sounded delicious. Eventually I settled on the fresh buffala (buffalo) mozzarella, with grilled vegetables, slow roasted tomato and pesto dressing. It was a really generous portion, and the mozzarella was rich and creamy. The combination with the vegetables really worked, and the pesto dressing took the dish to a new level.

For main course, I chose fresh sea bass covered in herbs and finished in a white wine sauce. It is served with roast potatoes, fine beans and crispy artichoke heart. The fish was beautifully cooked, and the sauce was zesty. While the potatoes and beans were a lovely addition, the crispy artichoke heart was unreal. I love artichoke and the way this was cooked took the flavour to a new level of deliciousness.

Buonissimo in Harborne review
Buonissimo in Harborne review

Although the two courses were filling, I decided to go ahead with a dessert. I have a young child so it’s not often I get out for an sophisticated meal! I chose the panettone pudding; a twist on a classic bread and butter pudding. Served with creme anglais, this is truly decadent. I believe it is another popular dish that stays on the menu, and I can see why.

My husband, who has been going to Buonissimo since it opened, ordered the crab, prawn and salmon fish cake to start. He then had fettucine tossed with crème frâiche, smoked salmon, prawns and spinach. He reported both dishes as equally delicious, and like mine, were very good portions.


All of the starters are below £9, and the mains fall between £15-£20. I think these prices are fair given the quality of the food, and the overall dining experience. There is a set price lunch menu and an early dinner menu too, if you are trying to keep costs down.

Impressive wine list

For those who fancy a tipple Buonissimo offers an impressive wine list. Many of the quality wines are sourced from small, family run vineyards. The Pinot Grigio Blush is particular highlight and is a firm favourite amongst guests. It is my personal choice whenever I dine at Buonissimo. This is especially as it’s not a wine I have found at any other restaurant.

Overall impressions

If you’re looking for a true taste of Italy without the cost of the airfare, then be sure to book yourself a table at Buonissimo.

I booked my table at Buonissimo in Harborne for this review through OpenTable. OpenTable is a great way to find and book restaurants across the UK. It has a superb list of dining options in Birmingham, and makes it quick and easy to find availability. I can’t recommend it enough. The growing list of establishments shows that restaurants are drawn to the convenience it offers diners.

It was a truly fabulous meal at Buonissimo. I certainly won’t be leaving it so long until I dine there again.

If you’re looking for other authentic dining experiences in South Birmingham, you might like this review of the Blue Piano in Edgbaston.


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