I love Italian food and jump at the chance to visit new local Italian restaurants. I saw on Trip Advisor that this restaurant was the 2nd best rated in Southampton and booked myself a table and I’m so glad I did! Plus they offer NHS staff discount.
As I entered the restaurant I was pleased that it wasn’t very busy as I wanted a quiet meal, after all it was midweek. I loved the simple decor and the bottles of wine hung on the walls for visual effect. I was given a lovely warm welcome, shown to the table and given menus.
The food menu featured a small selection of starters, a cheese or meat platter, sharing plates and salads all of which were reasonably priced. The menu recommended about 4 to 8 dishes for 2 people so I ordered artisan bread, polpettine, courgette salad, gorgonzola arancini, griddled lamb cutlets and the daily special which was panzerotti filled with ricotta, cavolo nero and pine nuts.
The restaurant’s name, Enoteca, is an Italian term used to describe a wine shop. So I wasn’t surprised that the wine menu featured a lot of unusual and considered choices. An organic Nero d’Avola wine from Sicily caught my eye, but I wasn’t drinking so I had to pass. I had San Pellegrino aranciata rossa which is a blood orange soda.
I loved every single one of the sharing plates, all of which were beautifully presented and so tasty! The courgette salad was ribbons of courgette served on a watercress salad with a lemon and oil dressing. It’s simplicity allowed the ingredients to shine and didn’t need any other embellishment. The lamb cutlets were so flavoursome and cooked perfectly. The arancini are deep fried risotto balls with a crunchy breadcrumb coating and a gorgeous melted gorgonzola centre. The polpettine (meatballs) were tender and served in a sweet tomato sauce. The panzerotti were small puff pastry parcels and were beautifully cooked. The bread was so fresh and perfect for mopping up the leftover sauce from the meatballs.
For pudding I had berry pannacotta which was as good the rest of the meal. I spoke to the restauranteur who explained that the lamb cutlets were from a local farm and the bread from a local bakery. He told me they the restaurant has been around for about 9 months.
When I left I saw a sign outside advertising all you can eat on Tuesday evenings. What a great excuse to return!
Keith’s Kitchen rating: 5/5
Date of visit: 12/10/16
5 Bedford Place