A bright and welcoming pizzeria has risen from the ashes of where FSK formerly stood on the revolving door of establishments that is Summer Row. Nearly every bar or restaurant that has stood on this awkwardly situated spot has had a troubled time of things over the last two to three years, largely owing to the ongoing roadworks on the Sandpits that make it even more inaccessible than it was before. Separated from the city centre and Broad St by the Great Charles Street Queensway and not really close enough to the Jewellery Quarter to feel part of it, Summer Row feels a little ostracised from the more stimulating parts of Birmingham.
Mi Amore is good reason to go there however. The art deco lettering on the entrance is cool and smart and the staff are friendly. I insisted on sitting on the outdoor decking next to the canal, the sort of thing that most restaurants are unable to provide for most of the year. Over my dead body would I eat indoors on an evening where the temperature reached the mid 20’s. My buoyancy over this was short-lived thanks to the sun disappearing behind an ugly large red-brick monstrosity that mockingly stood on the other side of the canal. The warmth dropped as soon as the sun said its farewells behind this towering eyesore. The food that followed lifted my spirits however.
I’ve had a theory for some time now that takeaway pizza is more enjoyable than any pizza served up in a restaurants. Perhaps it’s the grease and the thicker base or perhaps it’s the context (usually enjoyed during a sporting event or after falling out of a pub or a club in the early hours) that seems to make it more satisfying. The Carne pizza that was presented before me on Saturday however put a cat among the pigeon’s as regards my theory. The base is smothered with chorizo, pancetta bacon and salami, garnished with soft rocket. It seemed inconceivable that I would willingly swap this slice of heaven for a Domino’s.
I cursed myself later on for taking the easy option at dessert. I like to think of myself as something of an urbane, man-of-the-world type so when offered ‘bomboloni’ (a generously filled Italian donut) from the specials menu, I inexplicably said no and went for the tried and tested tiramisu. The tiramisu was fine however I felt a fool for ordering such a staple of any Italian menu and declining not only something new but a dessert that I was almost guaranteed to enjoy! I was disappointed with my decision making skills on the spot but not with the decision to visit Mi Amore.