Step into a little corner of Italy when you enter Ask Italian, part of Bh2 Leisure in the heart of Bournemouth. This friendly eatery is classically styled into cosy little sections that make it warm and welcoming despite accommodating 158 guests inside and an additional 32 on the pretty terrace tables outside overlooking the beautiful Lower Gardens.
The interior combines modern fittings and vibrant artwork and installations with dainty trelliswork, pretty fairy lights and ambient glitter ball.
From the next-generation Ask Italian décor to the seating arrangement, the carefully crafted menu to home-sourced beverage selection, Ask Italian invites you to eat like an Italian, where food and its lavish enjoyment sits at the heart of this hospitable culture.
To get warmed up, why not tuck into the extensive antipasti, breads and nibbles and starters selection, with butterfly king prawns, antipasti sharing boards and baked dough balls some of the popular choices.
Of course, there are plenty of pizza and pasta dishes to explore and pizza base is sprinkled with semolina to give it that signature Italian crunch and texture. The menu is bursting with options for tantalising toppings including the beef and gorgonzola pizza, which combines pulled beef, gorgonzola, mushrooms, caramelised onion, tomato and mozzarella join together and stone baked for a delicious medley of flavours.
The pasta menu is extensive and authentic, with dishes like Fettuccino Bolognese, Pancetta and Chestnut Ravioli and Linguini Carbonara to tantalise your taste buds.
If you’d rather a meat or fish dish, there is an extensive selection including the hearty Baked Meatballs Giganti and the popular Sea Bass Al Forno. And Ask Italian’s a wizard when it comes to preparing and dressing a delicious salad, with tempting options including the Insalata Caprina with goat’s cheese and oven-roasted tomato toasts or the Chef’s Salad featuring smoked prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, avocado and artichoke amidst the standard Italian salad vegetables finished with grated Grana Padano cheese, croutons and extra virgin olive oil, of course.
An Italian meal wouldn’t be complete without a rich and satisfying dessert, like Ask Italian’s award-winning pistachio and olive oil cake, the Chocolate Profiterole Grande filled with two scoops of hazelnut gelato and the limited-edition Chocolate Etna with a hidden scoop of gelato under a dark chocolate cup which melts under the drizzle of hot toffee sauce. If you are (almost) full to the brim, you won’t feel short-changed by just squeezing in a creamy scoop of hazelnut, pistachio, espresso or salted caramel gelati!
Young diners get the VIP treatment too, with an extensive menu designed for smaller appetites and simpler palettes. Who could resist vegetable sticks with garlic bread soldiers and dip for a starter, a top your own pizza or calzone followed by a ‘tip and top’ ice cream they can sprinkle with their favourite toppings. Or why not bit the bullet and make the grown-ups at the table jealous with a chocolate pizza; a sweet dough base spread with chocolate and hazelnut sauce and strawberries and decorated with marshmallows and sprinkles!
The drinks menu at Ask Italian is as extensive as its food, with an impressive display of giant Aperol bottles if you fancy this classic Italian aperitivo either straight or in a spritz with Prosecco and soda. The bar is home to two tempting vats of delicious home-made traditional still and raspberry lemonade and there’s a selection of Italian wines, Asti, Prosecco, cocktails, soft drinks, beer and cider.
Ask Italian may be part of Bournemouth’s newest restaurant complex, Bh2, but it effortlessly oozes classic Italian charm and authentic styling that will whisk you off to your own corner of the Mediterranean.