Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Aquila Restaurant: opens Wednesday, October 29th on Baldwin Street

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Aquila Restaurant - Signage


Bristol’s city centre is now home to a brand new Italian restaurant in the form of Aquila. After two years of planning applications and extensive redevelopment work, the restaurant – located next to the RBS building on Baldwin Street – is open for business from 11.30am on Wednesday, October 29th.

This family-run restaurant is the first standalone restaurant for the family: previous business ventures include a dairy, a few hotels in Bath and The Beeches Hotel in Brislington, meaning that while they have plenty of hospitality experience, Aquila is something a little different.

Set over two floors (and with a lift for disabled access to the entire building), Aquila features a small waiting area which opens out onto a ground floor bar – complete with cocktail offering – and the restaurant’s wine station. The downstairs dining area seats around 60 people, with a mixture of normal tables and large booths, which can seat up to 10 people.


Aquila Restaurant - Downstairs Bar

Aquila Restaurant - Downstairs Seating


Those dining downstairs will also have a great view of the semi open plan kitchen, where head chef Emilio and his team are hard at work creating a range of authentic Italian dishes.


Aquila Restaurant - Kitchen


Upstairs features seating for another 100 people, along with a separate bar to speed up drinks orders. The floor to ceiling windows also give great views over Baldwin Street, from an angle from which the road is never normally seen.


Aquila Restaurant - Upstairs Bar


There are some beautiful touches to this well-designed restaurant, including some stunning chandeliers.


Aquila Restaurant - Chandelier 1

Aquila Restaurant - Chandelier 2


Head Chef Emilio hails from Naples, with other members of the kitchen team from Molise, Sicily and other regions of Italy. Emilio himself joins Aquila from a stint at Joya in Bath, and is keen to introduce Bristol to authentic Italian regional dishes that are not often found on other local Italian menus.

While you’ll find some recognisable dishes on the menu, you’ll also find plenty of dishes that are a little bit different. Starters are priced at between £7 and £12, and include dishes such as crispy red mullet with basil emulsion and confit tomato, as well as zucchini and goats cheese layered in a carasao bread stack.

Mains are divided into four sections. In addition to a few salads, there are 12 different pasta dishes, priced both as starters and as mains, including classics such as a carbonara (£5.95/£9.95) as well as more unusual options like the fusilli with fresh king prawns and a pistachio cream (£6.95/£11.95).

The Secondi menu includes both fish and meat dishes, ranging from £9.95 for a homemade beef burger to £24.95 for a whole grilled Dover sole served with fresh parsley and citronette. You’ll also be able to choose from 10 different traditional Napolitana pizzas (either deep or thin crust) – with the flour, tomatoes and mozzarella imported directly from Italy to ensure the highest possible quality and authenticity. Again, there are a few more unusual options on the pizza menu, including the Friarelli E Salsicce (£9.95): a pizza topped with smoked mozzarella, Italian sausage, turnip tops and a tomato base.

Aquila also offer a selection of sweets (I’m looking forward to trying their cannoli…), as well as an express lunch menu, priced at £8.95 for one course, £12.95 for two or £15.95 for three courses.

It’s great to see somewhere new and independent opening up on Baldwin Street, and I wish Pete and his team the best of luck. We’ll be heading in very soon to test the place out…

To find out more about Aquila, visit their website or follow them on Twitter or Instagram.

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