With our office only a pizza toss away, Chianti has been a favourite haunt for Falkirk Herald staff events.
Last week we said goodbye to our deputy editor, Duncan McCallum, after 42 years and journeyed en masse to the Italian eatery at Beancross Farm, Beancross Road.
The rural location of Chianti would imply rustic interiors but the dining room is modern, classy and spacious. In short, it’s exactly how you’d like your living room to look with elegant ornaments and tasteful colour palette.
Chianti offers a lunch time deal midweek, with two courses for £9 and three for £11. The dishes in the deal are varied but a few of the fussy Falkirk Herald staff still had to venture on to the a la carte menu.
The specials menu changes frequently and on our visit the starters included lightly fried prawns, salad and bruschetta and the mains were pizza, pork medallions and sea bream.
I had the lightly fried prawns and they were fantastic, a small portion of six prawns, perfect for a lunch time starter. The batter was very light and the prawns served with an aioli dip.
Around the table, other FH staff enjoyed the bruschetta – Scott declared it was ‘delicious’ – and Chris, who was clearly feeling flush and ordered a la carte, said the mozzarella salad was fresh and well proportioned.
The mains of pork and seabream served with vegetables were given the thumbs up and on the a la carte, the meatball and penne picanti - pasta in a spicy tomato sauce, was well received.
With pizza on offer, I didn’t even look at the other main options.
The pizzas at Chianti are made with homespun dough and cooked to perfection in a stone based pizza oven.
The base was paper thin and the crust just the right thickness, topped with a homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella and a selection of mushrooms – after eating it there was not ‘mushroom’ for anything else and we skipped dessert.
But the dessert of the day was a chocolate pudding and on the a la carte there are Italian favourites such as tiramisu and panna cotta.
The wine list was extensive but with another few hours at the desk still to go and wine having a sleepy effect on me, I opted out of a glass of vino.
So I will need to make a point of returning when I’m not the designated driver to sample a Prosecco or Chianti.
As we were dining, the table behind us were settling their bill and told the waiter they live locally but had never been Chianti before. They said they wouldn definitely be making it a regular haunt too and were surprised at the quality Italian food on their doorstep.
If many more people discover this gem of an Italian, the Falkirk Herald might need to start looking elsewhere for our last minute leaving lunches.