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Ristorante Gusto Pinto – Rome (Review)

Ristorante Gusto Pinto

On our second night in Rome, we decided to head to the Ristorante Gusto Pinto for dinner. It was right around the corner from our hotel and when I was reading Trip Advisor reviews for our hotel, the restaurant seemed to be mentioned several times as a place to try out! The restaurant is owned by a local recording artist which may explain the gold record on the wall!

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We were greeted by a very friendly and efficient waiter who showed us to a comfy table in the corner. It was fairly quiet but still had a good atmosphere inside. The menu was very extensive and there were so many different dishes to try! I was debating whether to go for the Parpardelle Fisherman Mix or the fried calamari and shrimp as I was having a real craving for it. My mum suggested ordering the fried calamari and shrimp to share and I was more than happy to agree!

I always forget that in other European countries, people like to take their time and eat dinner over many hours. After a bit of a wait, our food came 😀 As said previously, I opted for the Pappardelle Fisherman Mix for €12 and we shared the fried calamari and shrimp for €14. My dad went for the Risotto Fisherman Mix for €12 and my mum opted for Escalope in White Wine for €11. All the dishes came nicely presented and my dad and I were both really pleased with the amount of different seafood! A lot of the time when I order a seafood pasta, I only get a few bits of mussel and prawn and am quite disappointed, but not this time! My pasta was full of mussels, prawns, scampi, and clams! It is always a bit of a faff de-shelling all the bits and pieces, but it was worth it as it was really tasty! Although, the scampi basically had no meat and was a weird black/brown colour so I left most of it.

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The fried calamari and shrimp was lovely! Normally in England, you’d get some sort of mayo to go with it, but this really didn’t need it as the flavours were really tasty on their own 🙂

Fried shrimp and calamari

Fried shrimp and calamari

As always, I tried I bit of my parents’ dishes too. My mum got three quite reasonably sized slices of pork escalope and it was decorated with bits of red cabbage and lettuce which made it look a lot prettier. My mum said that the wine tasted a bit weird though.

Escalope in White Wine

My dad basically got the risotto version of my dish minus the scampi for some reason, and it also tasted pretty decent!

Risotto Fisherman Mix

Risotto Fisherman Mix

The service was lovely and friendly and the total came to €60 including some drinks and €6 bread charge.

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Nom nom all gone!

Nom nom all gone!

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We normally like trying somewhere new for dinner each day, but after we’d looked round the nearby restaurants, we found that their menu was very limited and a lot more expensive too, so we decided to go back to Gusto Pinto as we’d all enjoyed it last night.

I was rather intrigued with what seabass sauce would be, but I ended up choosing Tonnarelli Scampi and Asparagus. It never ceases to amaze me the sheer amount of different types of pasta! On the menu alone there was stuff like Paccheri, Bavette, and Cavatelli pasta! Tonnarelli turned out to be like a thicker and denser version of spaghetti and was rather nice! When the waiter brought out my pasta, he said that it was very popular. However, I found that the scampi had hardly any meat and the asparagus was cooked a bit too long and was rather mushy 😦 I much rather preferred yesterday’s dish!

Tonnarelli Scampi and Asparagus

Tonnarelli Scampi and Asparagus

My mum chose the Risotto Fisherman Mix that my dad had yesterday and also got razor clams with it which my dad didn’t get yesterday!

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My dad originally wanted salmon but they had run out so opted for the grilled seabass for €15. It looked quite small, but my dad seemed fairly happy with it.

Grilled seabass

Grilled seabass

I’d definitely recommend this restaurant as it is very reasonably priced and there is an extensive selection of food on offer compared to other nearby restaurants who only have a few pasta dishes! I was tempted by the desserts, but even I (who always has a separate stomach for sweet things) was too full! You can’t fault their decent portion size!

Menu

Menu

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Little Italy (Review)

Yesterday I went to Kingston with my mum and as is tradition, we went out for lunch 🙂 Howeeeever, this time we didn’t go to Prezzo – shock horror! Since I have a Tastecard, we always tend to go there since it always serves great food and we get two for one. But this time I fancied trying somewhere new as there are so many other places in the area that allow us to use Tastecard. I wasn’t too sure what to expect at Little Italy as the reviews online were all very mixed! I booked ahead and the restaurant wasn’t very busy when we went which was near 2pm. We were greeted by a very friendly waiter who showed us to a table. We had spent a while wandering around for a couple of hours, so had built up quite an appetite! We got two starters to share: Antipasto di Verdure (platter made up of roasted peppers, aubergine, courgettes, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms, and olives, served with garlic bread) for £6.95, and Bianchetti (deep fried whitebait served with homemade dill tartare sauce) for £5.45.

Our starters didn’t take very long to arrive, only about 10 minutes. The platter came with three slices of garlic bread which was great, and very filling! It was well presented and had a good selection of vegetables, although I wish there was more than just one slice of aubergine! Overall, it was all seasoned well and tasted pretty good 🙂 The whitebait was lovely too and the tartare sauce was a nice accompaniment.

Antipasto Di Verdure (platter made up of roasted peppers, aubergine, courgettes, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms, and olives, with garlic bread)

Antipasto Di Verdure (platter made up of roasted peppers, aubergine, courgettes, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms, and olives, with garlic bread)

Bianchetti (deep fried whitebait served with homemade dill tartare sauce)

Bianchetti (deep fried whitebait served with homemade dill tartare sauce)

Our plates took a bit longer than I would have liked to be cleared, but we didn’t have to wait that much longer before our main courses arrived. As we both couldn’t decide, we ordered Spaghetti Al Gamberoni (with smoked salmon, prawns, musssels, courgette, olive oil, white wine, cream, lemon juice), and Risotto Al Frutti Di Mare (with prawns, mussels, calamari, courgette, and spinach, in a creamy white wine sauce), both for £12.95. They both came with three slices of garlic bread, so we were well and truly breaded out! We both agreed that the Spaghetti Al Gamberoni was the tastier of the two dishes as it just had a richer flavour, and generally had more filling to it too. Not to say that the risotto wasn’t nice! It just had a slightly more subtle taste, but it was still very creamy, and not at all watery which is what a lot of risottos can turn out to be! There weren’t very many prawns, mussels, or calamari though, and the courgette and spinach was also on the sparse side. At least the calamari wasn’t chewy!

Risotto Al Frutti Di Mare (prawns, mussels, calamari, courgette, and spinach, in a creamy white wine sauce, served with garlic bread)

Risotto Al Frutti Di Mare (prawns, mussels, calamari, courgette, and spinach, in a creamy white wine sauce, served with garlic bread)

Spaghetti Al Gamberoni (smoked salmon, prawns, mussels, courgette, olive oil, white wine, cream, lemon juice, with garlic bread)

Spaghetti Al Gamberoni (smoked salmon, prawns, mussels, courgette, olive oil, white wine, cream, lemon juice, with garlic bread)

We were so full at the end of it! I normally always have room for dessert, and at only £4.25 it would have been a steal. On this occasion however, I was so stuffed full of bread that I could not eat a single thing more! The whole bill came to just over £21 (with 50% off due to the Tastecard), and included a 10% service charge which was a bit annoying as I don’t like restaurants to assume that they’ve given a service that I will want to pay for. I much prefer to judge for myself and tip an amount that I want to give. The service was friendly and fairly quick though, and the food was pretty tasty, so I’ll forgive them this time.

Little Italy on Urbanspoon

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Caravaggio (Review)

This restaurant was the first one I visited when I first moved to South London to live with my friends for Uni. I think I chose it because I had seen good reviews for it on the internet and Italian is my favourite food anyway, so I thought why not?

Since living here, I’ve been to Caravaggio too many times to remember! The food is great, the service is friendly, and the prices reasonable! I have had so many different mains on the menu and they were all pretty good! I’ve never tried a starter or dessert from here, although they do look rather tempting!! You also always get complimentary olives which is nice, although I’m not a fan of them so leave my share for whoever I’m eating with.

I’ve had the chicken and pepper pizza a couple of times and you get massive pieces of chicken – well worth the money! The pizza is probably about 12 inches in diameter and is of the thin type. I’m not usually that big a fan of thinner pizzas, but this one was quite nice. I guess it wasn’t anything special but still a decent pizza nonetheless.

Pizza con pollo (tomato, mozzarella, chicken, mushrooms, red onions, olive oil, basil)

Pizza con pollo (tomato, mozzarella, chicken, mushrooms, red onions, olive oil, basil)

Another time I tried the calzone as I’m a big fan of Prezzo’s ones. The calzone normally has salami in it, but I’m not really a big fan, so I asked if I could have chicken instead and they kindly obliged. The calzone itself was well filled and rather tasty. But I did find that the ricotta cheese was a bit overpowering and I would have preferred more mozzarella, however that’s just personal taste!

Calzone (tomato, mozzarella, ricotta cheese, ham, chicken, basil, olive oil)

Calzone (tomato, mozzarella, ricotta cheese, ham, chicken, basil, olive oil)

I’ve had veal a couple of times, once with smoked salmon and mozzarella in a white wine and tomato sauce, and the other time wrapped in ham and cheese in a brandy and cranberry sauce. Both times were fairly nice, although I felt the portions were a little bit small.

Veal with cranberries

Veal with cranberries

Duck is one of my favourite foods, so I was very happy when I saw that Caravaggio did duck breast! It takes them a bit longer than their other foods to cook and from experimentation, I like their duck medium to well done – this ensures that it’s not chewy and still retains that lovely flavour. Their duck comes in a nice orange sauce with potatoes and some seasonal vegetables. The portion size is good as you get about four or five quite thick slices of duck, but I do wish that there was a bit more veg. For about £14, I think it’s reasonably priced in comparison with other restaurants that serve duck.

Anatra all arancia (breast of wild duck cooked in orange and honey sauce with seasonal vegetables)

Anatra all arancia (breast of wild duck cooked in orange and honey sauce with seasonal vegetables)

On weekdays, they do a lunch menu where you can choose any pizza or pasta and a drink for £6.50. I’ve come here several times with my mum and my friends during this time. From the pasta menu, my favourite is the seafood linguine pasta in tomato sauce. It comes abundant with different seafood such as mussels, squid, king prawns, and mini prawns and it is very tasty! All their pasta dishes are massive and definitely very filling!

Before I finish Uni, I’m sure I’ll visit this restaurant many more times since it is just one of those restaurants where you know you will get a good standard of food and great, friendly service. However, I have also found out that in January 2013 they received a Food Hygiene Rating of 0 which is really worrying and surely means that they should have had to close! But we’ve never had any issues and everything appears to be clean. Nonetheless, that fact still remains at the back of my mind now and I’ll be sure to keep a closer eye out the next time I return.

 

Caravaggio on Urbanspoon