Last Friday night after a less than average week, I forced my boyfriend to wine and dine me. He took me, under instruction, to Smithfield’s classy Italian dining spot, Candelori’s. I had already spent an hour or so carefully reading through the extensive menu before we had even arrived, but still took my time trying to work out what I should get once I got there - which is very rare for me!

There are endless delicious options available at Candelori’s, from an array of seafood, pastas and pizzas, through to more hard to come by dishes consisting of quail, goat and even lambs brains! Not feeling that adventurous, and with my boyfriend being an annoyingly fussy eater (sorry Ethan, but it’s true) we decided to share our dishes – again, very rare for me.

Our first course was the go-to tomato and basil bruschetta. This could not be faulted, particularly when paired with a glass of Sav Blanc from the huge wine list. Though fantastic, next time, I’m planning on having the stuffed zucchini flowers which really caught my eye on the menu.

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Our main course was from the special’s board. A 1kg Tomahawk steak cooked medium, with rosemary and roasted garlic. It was served on a rustic wooden board with the bone and sliced into thick pieces. The bone would have weighed probably 500g, so the steak was the perfect size for two. We ate ours with a side of fries and a juicy heirloom tomato salad. But the absolute highlight of the main for me was the sauces. The steak came with a fresh pesto which was perfect and we also ordered an extra sauce of truffled mushrooms. It was this concoction of creamy mushroom and truffley goodness that really cemented my instant love of Candelori’s. This heaven in a gravy-boat was fabulous with both the steak and the fries.

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For dessert, we shared a hazelnut and chocolate ricotta calzone. Wood fired dough, hazelnut spread, roasted hazelnuts, creamy ricotta, trickles of honey and a scoop of vanilla gelato; need I say more? I ended the meal with a sneaky Toblerone cocktail, which was like having a second dessert. I wish every meal finished with one of those!

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Candelori’s is a great restaurant for families, groups of friends and girlfriends who are forcing their other halves to take them out for dinner.  It was really busy by about 7pm, so I recommend making a booking; as well as analysing the huge menu beforehand to try and decipher what your plan of attack is. I can’t wait to revisit this Smithfield gem to try some more of the many menu offerings.   

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