The chef and the owners at Mamma’s Italian Bistro at the Carlton Centre in Lincoln have given their menu a new lease of life since reopening after lockdown — and The Lincolnite went to check it out.
Sharon and Roger Day first opened the restaurant in April 2019 inspired by their love of Italy. Earlier this year Matt Blease joined the staff team as the new head chef from a fine dining background.
Matt worked up and down the country including at Michelin star restaurants such as Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir in Oxford. He has also worked at Doddington Hall, Jew’s House and Bishop Grosseteste University and, most recently, at Siemens’ private hotel in Lincoln where he was head chef.
Matt stripped back the menu at Mamma’s Italian Bistro and freshened it up, including with homemade meatballs and his own recipe for Italian sausage.
The menu also includes pan fried salmon over Romesco sauce, with buttered crushed potatoes, spinach and tenderstem broccoli, and asparagus with poached egg served with sautéed truffle mushrooms and parmesan.
There are also vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free options. Vegan options including pizza and a roasted beetroot, orange and hazelnut salad.
Matt told The Lincolnite: “We have hit the ground running since reopening. We didn’t know what to expect and it has gone amazingly with a lot of new customers enjoying the food and existing customers loving the new menu.”
Front of House Manager Vikki Whatley added: “We have given our menu a fresh lease of life to give our customers tasty alternatives to our well established Italian classics. We still have classics including favourites such as our famous lasagne and our hand-stretched pizza bases.”
Reflecting on the first three years of business, co-owner Roger Day said: “The first year was really good and then last year lockdown happened, which gave us an opportunity to think about where we were going and to get Matt on board.
“It has been fantastic since reopening and I couldn’t be happier. The feedback from customers has been brilliant. The food is now at a different level.”
The ever-expanding team at Mamma’s Italian Bistro will be looking to add more experienced staff later this year to help push and develop the restaurant further.
The restaurant is open 9am-5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, 9am-10pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 10am-3pm on Sunday.
The owners also have a business next door called Mamma’s & More, which sells waffles and crepes during the day and by the evening it turns into a wine bar.