I recently went to Frome on a little trip with my Mum. We stayed in a place through Air BnB and did have our own kitchen and cooking space but as we were only there for a few days, had a lot to do and were both shattered we decided to get food out.
In advance of going I did a little research into good places to eat as naturally good/bad/new places come and go in any town but especially when you have not really visited for a couple of years. It became clear that there were a stack of restaurants on Palmer Street that were all generally well regarded and had something different to the next one to offer.
Castello really stood out as a place where local people go and where the food, atmosphere and service was good. In fact on our arrival there was quite a long table filled with people celebrating a 40th birthday. The rest of the restaurant was also busy and they had to check if there was room for us to be seated as we did not have a reservation (luckily there was).
It was a really hot and muggy evening so it was a relief that they had massive floor to ceiling doors that they were able to slide open to let the maximum amount of air in possible. This combined with high ceilings and tables being spaciously placed made the restaurant cool and a welcome relief.
To help make the restaurant feel like a less vast space and to add a little something there was a huge shelving unit in the middle. You could see through this to the other areas and it did not block any light off but it did have items on it such as packets of pasta and rice as well as strings of garlic and other things you might expect to find on the menu.
Despite being busy and having a lot of tables occupied, including the large group for the birthday meal, you were still able to have a discussion without having to shout and you could hear what the staff had to say clearly too.
We ordered drinks not long after our arrival. My mum opted for a simple glass of cold rosé wine whilst I decided to go for what can only be described as the house cocktail a Castello Kiss. Even though I ordered a cocktail and that can result in drinks taking an age to turn up they actually arrived within a few minutes which was a pleasant and refreshing surprise. The cocktail was also really yummy as it contained vodka, grenadine and curaço and a lot of ice but I also loved the way that the straws were bent (perhaps I am easily pleased).
Mum had decided before we even walked into the restaurant, after looking at the menu outside, that she was going to have the chicken and mushroom risotto. We both agreed though that a risotto in a restaurant can sometimes be a let down and leave you thinking that you could have made it at home.
But the one that turned up was tasty and the portion was generous too. It seemed to contain a decent amount of chicken as well as herbs to flavour the dish up with although there was quite a lot of garlic in it which was fine for us but I can imagine it being a little too much for some people. It also had some tomatoes and a basil leaf to give it that added bit of colour too.
I ummed and ahhed about what I was going to have as risotto always calls out my name, pasta always sounds good too but when I have not been somewhere before the quantity you will get makes me nervous and then trying to figure out whether the pizza will be greasy is tricky too.
In the end I decided to go with one of two calzones that they have on the menu. The meat filled one looked good but I was craving a few vegetables and cheese so went with the one that contained “spinach, roasted augergine, caramalized onion, roasted peppers, black olives, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce” and came with a fresh mixed salad on the side. I also had a little parmesan sprinkled on the top because, if you do not know me, I am a cheese fiend.
It was absolutely huge when it arrived and I knew that I was going to end up walking back up the hills of Frome and getting a stomach stitch along the way but it looked like it was going to be worth it. The pizza dough was crisped up but still remained soft whilst each bit of the filling was coming through with its own distinctive tastes and textures. The mozzarella had melted nicely inside but had not blended in with the rich and flavourful tomato sauce so you had that moment of dairy filled joy still. Because it was so crammed full of ingredients it did make it a bit messy to cut into as slowly everything, especially the sauce, attempted to escape and you had to scrap it all back together.
After battling through our epic meals we decided to just get the bill as if I looked at the dessert menu I think I might have popped. The thing that I liked about payment was that the service charge was not immediately added on so you could choose to tip as much as you wanted or felt was suitable. I could have done this by card but the waitress skipped through the tipping screen so I had to do it by cash at the end instead.
If I have some time on an evening in Frome again and want to have a meal out I would happily return to Castello or recommend it to somebody in the area or visiting. I am unlikely to go the next time I visit though as I have a few other places on Palmer Street to eat my way through first.
Great food, great staff, great atmosphere and good prices for the quality and quanity available. Despite being busy they did not seem to rush us either which is always a bonus.