This time instead of a pasta degustation dinner for 2 it was a lunch for 5. Both times I've found the service to be friendly and personal in spite of the place being busy and fairly cramped which I can imagine can be quite difficult to work in.
Drinks came quickly, repeat drinks came quickly throughout the meal. It took a while for our main courses to arrive but it didn't feel too dragged out. I guess being a group of 5 with much to talk about helps whittle away the time.
One of the special dishes was a dramatic looking squid ink risotto topped with fried whitebait and salmon roe. The plate was finished and declared tasty although the whitebait resembled tendrils of batter and didn't really have a whitebait feel to them. Teeny tiny whitebait.
Steve and I split the casarecche bolognese and the gnocchi with braised duck, porcini and parmesan. Both were delicious in their own way. The pasta was al dente and had the right amount of meat sauce clinging to it. Meaty and flavoursome it was heartwarmingly good. The softness of the gnocchi was a lovely contrast to the almost springy pasta and the braised duck had a hint of herbiness to it and an almost delicate creaminess to the dish.
The plates look small but the flavours are rich and satisfying so the portion sizes are actually big enough. Big enough to mean that dessert is possible!
I'm not usually a chocolate dessert as it's usually too sweet, rich and sugary for me but I hoped with the combination of mascarpone and coffee it might cut through it. Artistically presented, it really did feel light and more about the bitterness of cocoa and coffee than the sugar high of milk chocolate. I didn't regret my choice. But I'll try the panna cotta next time.
I'm still a fan of Tipo 00 and whilst it's as good as Rosa's Kitchen it is different and there's definitely room for both in my life!