Not to brag, but we’ve known that Tropea is one of the best Italian restaurants in Birmingham for a while. Now, it seems the rest of the world is catching up. Both the Michelin Guide and the Good Food Guide recently featured the intimate Italian spot in Harborne.
Tropea specializes in small plate dishes designed for guests to share; with each plate focused on a star ingredient, be it the braised octopus or aubergine parmigiana. The menu is heavily influenced by Italian street food. It uses only the finest, seasonal ingredients, either from Milanese markets or local suppliers. Expect plenty of fresh pastas, seafood and regional specialities, from fresh day-boat fish to venison.
Highlights from Tropea’s usual ever-changing seasonal menu include bomboloni (basically small doughnuts) filled with gorgonzola dolce and pickled walnut puree; seafood risotto with mussels, baby squid and red prawn; and Neapolitan sausage with parmesan polenta and red onion agrodolce.
When it comes to the drinks everything is, almost, exclusively Italian too. You can try cocktail classics such as Negroni and Americano, or go for a pint of Birra Menabrea if you fancy a beer, while there are a range of Old World wines as well. Perfect for washing down that steady influx of plates you’ll be ordering. You’ll believe you’re closer to Bari than Birmingham.
Tropea (pronounced Tro-Pey-Ah) is the brainchild of Ben Robinson Young and Kasia Piatkowska, who met studying Culinary Arts at the University College Birmingham in 2010. Inspired by a picturesque town of the same-name on the Calabrian coast, it has quickly become one of the most exciting restaurants in the city, just further proof that Birmingham really is the UK’s best city for foodies.
“We are both humbled and honoured in equal measure to have been recognised by both the Michelin Guide and Good Food Guide this year,” said Ben, co-owner of Tropea. “We would like to say a huge thank you to both guides and to our customers for their continued support. It’s a really exciting time for restaurants in Birmingham and it feels amazing to be a part of it.”
Michelin Guide described Tropea as ‘a bright, modern neighbourhood restaurant serving flavourful, fuss-free Italian sharing plates’. They recommend the homemade pasta, describing them as a ‘highlight’, as well as noting Tropea’s ‘buzzing atmosphere and friendly service’. Meanwhile The Good Food Guide described Tropea as ‘a fantastic neighbourhood independent that is well worth seeking out’.
Tropea is only open most evenings, Tuesday to Saturday, but is often busy, so we advise making a reservation. The Italian recently announced it would be expanding its hours though to include lunchtime bookings on Saturdays between 12pm and 1.15pm.
“We are really excited to be open for lunch bookings on Saturdays at Tropea after so many guests enquired about it,” said Ben. “We’re looking forward to welcoming lunchtime guests very soon.”
More information about Tropea can be found here.