|An under utilised gem in West Putney
A favourite in our address book it had been a while since we last visited Cantinetta. We received a warm welcome as always despite the chilly weather left outside the door. Rebecca Mascarenhas (of Sonny’s & KitchenW8) has created a modern casual Italian with bright, airy surroundings and quirky art collection.
A light starter of Burrantina (calves milk cheese, similar in texture but richer than your regular mozzarella) with rocket, semi dried tomatoes and black olives drizzled with olive oil (£8) -the portion size was very generous. My guest opted for the Fritto misto a combination of squid, whitebait courgette& lemon lightly dusted and quickly fried (£7).
In addition to the regular menu the specials of the day were both sea food and the starter was a dark fish broth due to squid ink with mussels and squid and a pasta made from breadcrumbs, egg & flour from a recipe from the chefs grandmother, called Poissoitelli was certainly eye catching and got the thumbs up from the dinner!
The main courses was the age old Vincisgrassi (£15) - & yes I do mean old - the recipe hails from the 18th Century. A classic Italian recipe for pasta baked with parma ham, mushrooms, tomato and cream, Vincisgrassi is one of the signature dishes from Le Marche in central Italy, and is also the Italian name of the Austrian general, Prince Windischgratz, who was commander of the Austrian Forces stationed in the Marches in 1799. The dish was allegedly created for the prince by a local chef. History lesson over!
I opted for fish choosing the fillet of grilled Sea Bream
with Caponata (a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried aubergine, courgette, raisins & pine nuts) (£16). All accompanied by a bottle of Pipoli Greco-Fiano white wine (£23), lemon in colour, rich yet fresh with citrus perfumes.
With no space for dessert - although the choices were tempting from Tiramisu to Vanilla Cheesecake with blackberries all priced at £5.50. We could not do them justice & settled for an espresso.
The staff told me that they are reopening at lunch time in the run up to Christmas to cater for Christmas celebrations. With their commitment to excellent ingredients at the heart of the menu I am sure their menu wont disappoint, give Victor a call to make your booking.
December 10, 2012