Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sharrow Vale Market and Pasta Bar

With Christmas only around the corner it seems that there is a market every weekend and this weekend it was Sharrow Vale Market's turn.

You might be surprised to learn that I had never been to the Sharrow Vale Market before and so I was determined to make this one. I was hangover free, the husband was at work and I quite fancied the walk from town. Unfortunately I hadn't counted on the downpour that hit just as I left the flat. But it was ok, I just got the bus...

Hmmm. The weather got progressively worse as I ambled from stall to stall but I tried to ignore the fat blobs of the wet stuff as much as I could.
I managed to grab some bathbombs from Harika which will make up part of a Christmas present and are are made in Sheffield, so I am told.  One is based on Angel Delight, the other on Banoffee Pie.

I was glad to see 7 Hills Bakery as I've heard a lot about these guys recently. I picked up some of their light rye and caraway seed bread.  I couldn't hold off from trying this for too long and I'm glad to find that it tastes as good as it looks; the light aniseed flavour provided by the caraway seeds is a bit different but delicious.

Old favourites Autumn Harvest Mushrooms were there and I picked up my usual; the gourmet mix. I'll have these on some of the rye and caraway bread (toasted) for tea.

I managed to get collared into trying some curry... well he didn't have to twist my arm much in all fairness. It was a veggie bean curry made with Mrs Shah's curry mix which they were selling for a pound a pop. Feeling rather cold, wet and miserable, I went for the hottest variety and I will pick up some lamb so that we can have it for tea tomorrow.

I knew Lorna of Heavenlies was around, so I wanted to track her down before leaving, and once I had I picked up a couple of her delicious brownies.  The rest of her display looked fantastic though and I spotted some lovely looking mini Christmas cakes which I was also tempted by.

By this point I'd decided that I'd done enough shopping; I'd also put up with enough rain so I went on search for lunch. There were a few stalls serving hot soup, sandwiches and stews, but as tasty as they all looked, I needed to get inside to warm up!

Pasta Bar has been around for a number of years and I've only ever heard good things about it so I walked back down Sharrow Vale Road, away from Hunters Bar, past Made by Jonty and Thelma's Cafe (who were both heaving, but would have also been good lunch spots) and grabbed myself a table for one.

The restaurant is small and pretty informal. It was quite busy with a couple (who gave me, the lone diner, a couple of funny looks – obviously they have not yet learnt that lunching alone is possibly one of the most indulgent activities ever) a group of about 7 and a family of 4.

The menu was small but there was a good lunch time offer on; a pasta dish served with a salad or garlic bread for £5.50. I chose the peperoncino which was pasta with garlic, chilli, parsley, olive oil and a Parmesan cheese. I also ordered the rocket and Parmesan salad too.

The pasta was good, not entirely al dente, but firm enough to have some bite. There was plenty of garlic in there, not too much parsley (I hate parsley) and more than enough Parmesan. My only complaint was that I could have done with quite a lot more chilli in there. The salad was fine, but had more Parmesan than rocket!

Overall it was a more than satisfying lunch and quite similar to something I often like to make myself at home.

Pasta Bar do have meat dishes on the menu, as well as a decent antipasti selection, so I'd like to return for an evening meal one day.

So come on then, did you venture out in the rain today? Did you buy any Sheffield goodness?

Have you eaten at Pasta Bar? What did you think?

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