24 May 2012

The Birthday Lunch

A view of Gavino's where they serve the finest quality food and the freshest fish, in pleasant surrounds, and excellent value for money. The menu is excellent, see here for mouthwatering dishes.

Gavino started his catering career at the age of 18 with the Italian air force, as part of the ground crew for the famous military acrobatic flying squadron 'Le Frecce Tricolour. After he left the air force in 1973 he travelled to England leaving his home town, Porto Torres in Sardinia, Italy. He later fell in love with his wife Karen. After 36 years of marriage, three children, and a 12 year break in Italy, Gavino came back to Sutton Coldfield to open his new restaurant, Gavino's.

Gavino is an authentic Italian restaurant where the whole family is involved. Meet Gavino and Karen (the owners) Gian-Franco (the director), Bonny (the secretary), Antoni (bar tender with a beautiful voice). Christian (youngest in the family and youngest waiter) and of course Gian Luca Stefanelli, the top Italian chef.

They all make sure the customers' dining experience has a true Italian feeling. They welcome people speaking a bit of Italian and they remind us not to forget to say Ciao, grazie and 'il conto per favore. e fi

I like the way the blue water glass picks up the reflections

Mushrooms, cooked in an unpronounceable way, which was DELICIOUS

Prosciutto and finely sliced melon 

Veal cooked to perfection and served in a mushroom sauce (that's not what THEY called it!). Benessimo!

Steak al pepe was superbly tender 

With shared accompaniments

A brioche based dessert which apparently was delicious, and my favourite tirisamu. As you can see, and this was a great surprise, the tirisamu was served with a lit candle, presented to the tune of 'Happy Birthday' (a recording) and carried by brother and sister (seen below). Other staff watched from the back of the room. This was a total surprise but a very pleasant one. Quite made my day.

Gaelic coffee, as if we hadn't had enough to drink with the bottle of Pino Grigio!

Ameretto biscuits, as if we hadn't eaten enough!


Italian brother and sister who went out of their way to see that we had a great dining experience...

...and who produced Moscato and Lemoncello to finish off the celebration. Honestly, you would have thought it was a special birthday but I guess they're all special when you get older!

Whilst we were there the men arrived outside to start trimming the village with Jubilee decorations.

Back home, I studied my new Kindle until it was familiar enough for me to start reading books.

What a great day!


  1. Happy birthday Val. Hope you enjoy the Kindle - I am sure you will. Look out for those Amazon Daily Kindle deals - top books for just 99p - just for a day.

  2. Wow......

    They had me at the mushrooms!!


    Sounds like an excellent, well deserved day.
    Happy Birthday!!

  3. oh wow this looks so good...i love good authentic italian food....yum...glad you had a good bday lunch!

  4. Valerie, I can't tell you enough how much I enjoyed reading this post!

    Thank you for sharing about the history of Gavino because I found it utterly fascinating!

    And WOW....what a feast you had! I tried scratching and sniffing each photo to see if I could smell the food - HA!

    I adore tirisamu myself, so I share your passion.

    Also, I loved seeing the bottle of Lemoncello because I recently watched the movie, "Under the Tuscan Sun" and there was a scene in which some of the characters were drinking it and I sat here wondering how it would taste, because it looked delicious!

    So glad you had a great birthday, dear lady!

    "Honestly, you would have thought it was a special birthday....."

    A special birthday for a SPECIAL lady!

    (((( You )))))

    Hope you're enjoying your Kindle!


  5. Hi Ron. I actually don't like limoncello so I had the marsala. I am pleased you enjoyed reading this post, I found the family history fascinating, made me want to go back to Italy.

  6. Oooh it all sounds so delicious! I love Italian food.

  7. So do I, Pearl. I have to remind myself that too much is too good a thing...grins.

  8. Happy birthday Valerie. Mouthwatering pictures. Let us know how you get on with kindle. I find myself considering buying one.

  9. Reading this post made me hungry! :-)

    That veal looks *amazing*! And yeah, it's always nice to discover a truly authentic dining establishment. There are smalls holes-in-the-wall that Karin and I know about which we frequent whenever we can. They're the sort of places where the owner comes out and talks with you about the food, and even surprises you with small samples of what he's got simmering in the back.

  10. lucky you!!! and happy birthday..looks like it was a wonderful dinner and evening!

  11. Hi Valerie,
    This a beautiful dining. The dishes look so yummy and I am early in the morning, so it really looks good!
    I loved the story about the restaurant owner. I say that everyone has a story worth sharing.


  12. Hi Annmarie Pipa, thank you for your birthday greeting and thanks for visiting today.

  13. Hi Barbara, I'm pleased that you liked the story behind the restaurant... sort of romantic, don't you think?

  14. Wow, what a birthday celebration you had!

    It must have been wonderful to go to a place with interesting history, great food and such an attentive staff.
    This dishes look delish!!

    Enjoy your Kindle.

  15. Thanks, CrystalChick. It was a lovely day and I do love good food.

  16. Happy Belated Birthday Val!! I'm glad that you had a terrific time. All the pictures are terrific and reading about Gavino was very interesting. I just got a new Kindle too. I'm really enjoying it as well. So glad to be back visiting your delightful blog :) The experience always puts a smile on my face.


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