Fidelini The New Italian Gets A Visit From MasterChef Runner Up

Newly weds Tom & Lucie Whitaker return from honeymoon & head to the Upper Richmond Rd

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For my inaugural review for PutneySW15 I was asked to head down to the new Italian restaurant in Putney, Fidelini on upper Richmond Road, accompanied by my wife Lucie.

For some background, we recently returned from our honeymoon in Italy, so we’ve been gorging on fine Italian cuisine for the best part of 3 weeks prior to our visit to Fidelini, expectation levels were unusually high...

The building itself feels a bit like a hotel lobby and the split floor only serves to emphasise this. I have a thing about Italian restaurants and how they look, and I think Italian food lends itself to a rustic environment and I’m not sure that’s what Fidelini is, there’s a bit too many pot plants, glass, chrome and beige wood chairs. That said, the staff were really friendly and accommodating which is far more in the Italian mould.

We chose to sit upstairs and ordered some house wine, which was a perfectly drinkable bottle of Sangiovese, which at £12.95 was good value.

To start I ordered the Avocado Misto, which was a mix of crab, prawns and smoked salmon with an Avocado salad, the ingredient were fresh and it was a generous portion but it was a little bland, the salad would have benefitted from a dressing and possibly without the inclusion of seafood sauce which doesn’t strike me as hugely Italian.

Lucie had Gamberi Arrabbiata, a bowl of spicy prawns that tasted good, where nicely cooked and had a nice oily background heat, both the starters where about the £7 mark.

Its hard to review an Italian restaurant with sampling the pasta, it has to be said though that I don’t always have a pasta dish, especially if we are eating starters and mains, pasta in the middle generally means that I’ll be pretty full by the time the main course arrives, that said we felt we should try it so we ordered the Fidelini Marinara. The pasta was well cooked and the tomato sauce was decent but the flavour of the fish was non existent, I’m a big fan of seafood pasta but thats because you want to taste the fish but unfortunately this wasn’t the case with this dish.

For our final two courses, Mrs W chose the fillet steak and I went with calves liver. Mrs W is a bit of an expert on steaks, so there’s always a risk when she orders one that it will not meet the standard but Lucie’s steak was perfectly cooked and really tender, it was a good size too, so much so that there was enough left for me! The liver was also really well cooked, rich and irony but tender and lemony, just as it should be.

I can't pass judgement on the desserts as neither Lucie or I had room to eat one, but overall we were happy with the meal, there are definitely some areas for improvement but there was also some nice courses that were well cooked. As it was pouring down at the time we ate-in, but there's also a nice bar area and some tables outside at the back of the restaurant which look like they'd be nice on a (dry) summer's eve!

Lucie and Tom ate Gamberi Arrabbiatti, Avocado Misto to start, shared a plate Fidelini Marinara followed by Fegato Alla Salvia and a Fillet Steak, water, a bottle of Sangiovese and a glass of Nero D’Alba, the total price was £73.15 without service

Tom Whitaker

June 22, 2011