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Reviewing some of the Independent Restaurants in Billericay

We appointed our own mystery reviewer with the brief to tell us about the places to eat which are not national or international chains. We want to support local businesses as local residents.

This month's restaurant is B E A U V O I R   A R M S

Although this restaurant styles itself as Italian, and you may think there are more than enough of them in our High Street, do  follow the Norsey Road through Ramsden Heath until you reach  Downham and find it on your left. There is a big car park and loads of outdoor space, including a children’s play area, where it will soon be warm enough to take pre-dinner/lunch drinks. Inside appears to be an extended barn with beams but modernised to give a light, airy and comfortable dining room.  There is also a bar and a smaller room seating around twenty-five people giving a choice for a family or corporate function depending on size. The tables and  comfy chairs are arranged throughout to give enough privacy, but this restaurant is nearly always full so there is a real ”buzz” from contented customers.
Service is impeccable yet friendly, and the food and drinks menus surely cater for every taste. This is not a pasta and pizza place, but genuine  Italian cooking. Go when you are hungry as the portions are generous.

Starters are timbale of prawns and salad, sardine fillets stuffed with sultanas and pine nuts and salad, braesola, calamari, parmesan stuffed mushrooms, melanzane with a tasty tomato sauce and served with cheese, grilled mozzarella, etc. – all good and quite hearty.

Mains are meat or fish and vegetarians are catered for. of well  If you are planning three courses maybe one of the superb fish dishes might be a good idea as it will perhaps be less filling! Possibly chicken cacciatore or one of the salads might suit you, and the pasta dishes will always be popular especially if there are children.

If, like me, you are feeling pretty full after two courses, but enjoying the food so much, it is difficult to resist the desserts.  The pannacotta seems to be the most popular, and no wonder as it slides down because it is the most perfect consistency.

Now for the cost. Monday to  Saturday senior citizens can have a two course lunch for 8.95 or three courses for 13.95. Choices are from the whole a la carte menu where some of the mains alone cost more. Starters and desserts are priced around 6 - 7. Value for money it certainly is and you cannot put a price on such cheerful and efficient service. No wonder it is always full. There is also an early evening offer of 50% off, but at full price this must still be one of the best local restaurants.
Rating  -  9/10.