Upstairs in Hebden Bridge’s original mill building, above Innovation gift shop and cafeteria, Il Mulino is an old-school Italian hideaway with vintage furniture and top quality food.
Two bustling dining rooms, a cosy bar/reception area, cheerful yellow tablecloths, solicitous waiting staff… these are our initial impressions.
Starters range from £3 for a portion of garlic bread to £7.50 for antipasto misto (salami & Parma ham). The bruschetta is simple, light and very tasty; the calamari impressively tender. There’s a choice of 14 pasta dishes, which can be ordered as starters (£6.60) or mains (£8-£10). Four of these are vegetarian. Of 14 pizza options (£7.50-£9), again four are veggie.
Il Mulino definitely tends towards the carnivorous – although all vegetarian dishes are helpfully marked with a ‘V’, they are a minority. There are seven steak-based dishes and more than a dozen other meat- or fish-based main course choices. These range in price from £11.25 for grilled chicken breast to £20 for a fillet steak. Brandy, cream and wine feature significantly in sauces, along with the classic Italian staples – tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Main course meals are accompanied by a small portion of potatoes and vegetables (except for pasta/pizza). Side orders of salad, olives, chips or spinach are also available.
The fish kebab (£16.95) was piquant and tender, with simple clean tastes – salt, lemon, white wine, roast peppers – complementing a perfect medley of seafood including king prawn, swordfish and salmon. The vegetarian calzone (£7.75) was a substantial, good value parcel of beautifully marinated and roasted veg layered with rich mozzarella.
Desserts (£4.15) include gateaux, profiteroles and torte… or divine ice cream (we recommend!), and there’s a good selection of coffees and liqueurs to complete the meal.
Children under 5 can be fed pizza or pasta and ice cream for just £2.50. An earlybird menu is available 6-8.30pm Mon-Thu (not bank hols): 2 courses for £11.50 or 3 courses for £12.95. Il Mulino is big enough to seat fairly large groups, but it does get busy – groups need to plan ahead and bookings are recommended even for couples and solos, especially at weekends.