Italian Classic and Contemporary Cuisine at Gatti’s:
London’s Italian restaurant scene has clear demarkations. Apart from the wealth of pizzerias and pasta restaurants, there are traditional Italian restaurants like E Pellici and contemporary restaurants like Zucca. It’s rare to find an Italian restaurant offering both a ‘classic’ and ‘contemporary’ menu. That’s just what Gatti’s have introduced, with two new menus to sit alongside the main a-la-carte. I went along with a group of bloggers to try a mixture of the two.
We started the evening with a glass of Veuve Clicquot ‘rich’, a new sweet champagne. Too sugary for me as an aperitif, I enjoyed it much better used (as I believe it is intended) as the base for a cocktail, with ice and garnishes of cucumber, red pepper or various fruits.
Downstairs in the elegant dining room, we were offered an amuse bouche of a savoury custard sabayon with parmesan and black summer truffle. I’d have been happy with two or three of these light and fragrant mouthfuls.
Meanwhile a Sicilian Pinot Grigio was served to pair with our starters. We picked dishes from a cross section of the Classic and Contemporary menus. For me, Tempura di Mare (Contemporary), which was crisp, light and very tasty, though a little generous for a starter size portion. Home made tartar sauce was nice, but somehow seemed a little inappropriate and made the dish feel a little too much like fish and chips for me. Perhaps that’s just my own mental association?
Others enjoyed a rather fine beef tartare with poached quail egg (contemporary) and delicious looking grilled scallops with asparagus, topped with crispy parma ham.
A prosecco and lemon sorbet was a welcome palate cleanser.
I picked the Scottish beef fillet in port wine reduction for my main course. It was perhaps closer to medium than rare, but all forgiven for the delicious port wine reduction and the comforting parmesan crisp with gnocchi.
I wouldn’t have changed my choice (from the contemporary menu again), but did feel a little food envy for the rather gorgeous Linguine All’Arogosta (pasta with lobster and fresh tomatoes). Other options included a risotto with wild mushrooms, a pan fried tuna steak with pistachio pesto and home-made pasta parcels with duck’s leg confit filling, porcini sauce and grated foie gras.
For dessert a trio of mini desserts.
It was a great evening with smooth and efficient service and very tasty food. And, for set menus there is a lot of choice (five starters and main courses on each menu).
If you’d like to try the menus for yourself, they are priced at £34.99 for three courses including a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rich.
1 Ropemaker Street
London EC2Y 9AW