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Gino D'Acampo Restaurant, Harrogate - New Summer Menu
Graham Clark, Features Writer
This summer has been one of the hottest on record, 1995 was probably the last summer we experienced as hot as this.

It was with great anticipation for the visit to sample the new summer menu recently launched at the Gino D'ACampo restaurants and what better place to whet my appetite than in Harrogate.

The week had been perfect summer weather but all good things come to an end - on our visit summer had decided to take a back seat and reminded us that autumn is just around the corner. High winds - tick, frequent heavy downpours - double tick.

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Not to worry - the bubbling, bustling and friendly atmosphere hits you like a welcome summer breeze as soon as you enter the restaurant. In a way it had that chaotic ambiance you get in Italy. It helps too that the majority of the staff are Italian. Molto benne as they say in Italy.

Photos of Gino D'Acampo adorned the walls with him posing with all the famous people he has met - he even has his own "newspaper" - La Gazzetta which is carefully placed on each table. In reality the journal is an advertisement opportunity to plug the new summer menu.

So what's new? Crispy Duck served with cherry and red wine sauce sounds tempting, Cannelloni with rocket, spinach and ricotta cheese perhaps? Or how about Seared king prawn risotto? Priced at £16.50, £12.00 and £14.50 respectively they sound as tempting as a perfect summer's day outing in Scarborough.

Palma ham
For starters we chose the Buffalo Mozzarella and Fontina cheese garlic bread - a meal in itself: light, cheesy and crisp. After getting a fine for driving in a bus lane whilst on holiday in Parma I felt that I should boycott the Parma Ham and Buffalo Ricotta but was glad I didn't. Delicious Parma ham that tasted just like it does when in Italy.

Cannelloni with rocket, spinach and ricotta cheese
My partner chose the Cannelloni with rocket, spinach and ricotta cheese for her main - very cheesy and tangy. The verdict was that it was top class. The piece I tasted though seemed a little too cheesy so that I could not taste the spinach.

Lasagne
For my main I went for the lasagne which looked solid and meaty. In fact it was very meaty and colourful too - the colours looked like the Italian flag - red, white and green. I wanted to swoop on it straight away like a hungry seagull, but as it was piping hot a little bit of patience was called for. Definitely worth waiting for it to cool down. I could almost forgive summer for taking a temporary break.

'The Best Lemon Cake'
On to desserts. When they come up with a title like 'The Best Lemon Cake' they have to be sure it is. When it was served it looked a bit sorry for itself on the huge plate, perhaps some chocolate shavings might have helped with the presentation. 'The Best Lemon Cake', nearly was the verdict. It was zesty, tangy and light and the vanilla ice cream complimented the dessert.

My Apricot and Kirsch Tart was gorgeously intense with light pastry and exceedingly moreish. Both these desserts are part of the new summer menu.

Apricot and Kirsch tart
There is still music playing in the background from the likes of Keane, U2 etc which I can only think are acts that Gino listened to whilst in Italy, but by the time we left mid evening the chatter of the other diners made the music inaudible.

A lunch and early evening menu is available between 12 noon and 6pm with one course being £9.50, 2 courses £13.50 and 3 courses for £16.50.

They appear to have summer wrapped up - the atmosphere is warm, welcoming and just like my lasagne the food is as hot as the Italian sun.

Gino D'Acampo Restaurant- 46-48 Parliament Street, Harrogate HG1 2RL
Telephone 01423 705777
www.ginodacamporestaurants.com

Gino D'Acampo Restaurant, Harrogate - New Summer Menu, 29th July 2018, 16:08 PM