Bosco Pizzeria, Bristol

Working away is such a bore. You have to lug a suitcase around, you sleep badly in strange beds and you have to hang out with work colleagues instead of your actual friends. The one perk? Dinner allowance.

A long, drizzly day of tax training in Bristol meant there was only one thing I wanted to spend that dinner allowance on; pizza. My training course was inconveniently scheduled on a Monday, so many of Bristol’s pizza places were closed, but thankfully Bosco was open to welcome us with open arms. And pizza.

And lovely pizza it was, too. Neapolitan style with a good char on the crust and the perfect level of flop in the middle. The menu is split between pizzas rosso and bianco, all with a variety of proper Italian toppings (no chicken or pineapple here folks), and there wasn’t a single pizza on there I wouldn’t have happily ordered.

Of those we tried my favourite was the Funghi; a white base with cremini and porcini mushrooms, mozzarella, Parmesan, marscapone and truffle oil which brought an earthy funk to cut through the richness. The Emilia Romagna, from the pizza rosso menu, was a showcase of simple, quality ingredients and the pangrattato topping worked brilliantly. My only gripe was that the oil from the wood roasted peppers made the whole affair a little too wet in parts; order it without and you’ve got yourself a brilliant pizza.

There’s a pasta menu at Bosco too. It’s small – which I always take as a good sign – an all killer no filler kinda pasta list. We take a pappardelle duck ragu; the sauce is rich and pleasingly full of tender fowl meat, piled upon thick ribbons of good pasta. I’m only sad we didn’t have room to try the Cacio e Pepe.

The portions were generous – enough to warrant the boxing up of leftovers – and even on a Monday the Whiteladies Road branch was buzzing with people crammed around tables to fill themselves with wine, carbs and happiness. I like it here, and to me it pushes home the point that we are desperately in need of good, casual Italian dining options like this in Birmingham.

So yes, working away from home is a bore. But eating leftover Bosco pizza in my hotel bed, without having to worry about crumbs? That’s pretty damn good.

We dined at the 96 Whiteladies Road branch of Bosco, BS8 2QX.

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