I'm not much in the business of accepting free food for reviews, mostly as I'm not much in the business of being offered it. However, when, towards the fag-end of a dreamlike holiday in Naples and the Amalfi Coast I got an email asking us to try out the Neapolitan stylings of Rossopomodoro it all seemed a bit too apposite to refuse. What better way of softening the post-holiday blues than a meal that recalled the flavours of Campania? What indeed!
We'd actually seen a Rossopomodoro in Naples, although we didn't eat there. There's 60-odd of them in Italy, and now quite a few here in the UK, the latest of which being upstairs in John Lewis. Kasia and I couldn't figure out what had been here before, maybe a cafe? Whatever, it's now been done out in the shades of bright functionality which are the stock in trade of the modern mid-brow eatery. Our table afforded a view over the late-evening shoppers in Eldon Square.
From a decent list of Italian wines I went for a glass of gutsy Aglianico. Kasia, on driving duties, had a lemonade which had the sherberty flavour of Amalfi lemons and was jolly nice too.
|Thin roasted veal, Amalfi caper and anchovy sauce, caremelised cherry tomatoes|
|Chargrilled homemade bread, wild mushroom cream, crispy pancetta, garlic, chilli, parsley|
|Black ink linguine, chick pea sauce, pan fried prawns, chilli|
|Pizza Napoletana with buffalo mozzarella|
Service was a bit hitty-missy; the restaurant manager was really welcoming, but there were times when it was tricky to catch the attention of one of the waiters, despite there being a healthy staff to punter ratio. We were given one each of a fork, knife and spoon to eat our desserts, which seemed a bit odd although made attacking them quite an interactive team effort.
All told we enjoyed our dinner, and Rossopomodoro goes straight in at the higher end of places to get yourself fed in Eldon Square. I'd be interested to compare it with Fuego, the new place in Fenwicks, which also has a wood-fired oven as its centrepiece. The critical question is would I return to under the power of my own dollar? I think yes, for a bowl of pasta or a pizza a lunchtime, as these were the the things that were done best. Not quite la bella vita, but not too far off.
Rossopomodoro kindly paid for our meal. With any luck I managed to retain my critical faculties despite their generosity.
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