A family business offering the best of Italian cafe life in the heart of Putney
Putney certainly has a lot of coffee shops to choose from, but an independent business offers something different, one hopes, and Matteo on the Upper Richmond Rd is certainly one worth trying out.
You get the warmest of welcomes from Joan Ferras and his young team whether you after a quick coffee or lunch! He is very proud of his new establishment that he and his fiance personally gutted, refitted & painted and they are passionate about the food - the sandwiches and salads are mouthwatering and the deli section offers marinated vegetables, fresh vegetables and breads etc
I met a local friend there to hear about her new venture, having heard a friend rave about the lunch she and her son enjoyed there - delicious Scicilian Aranancini & agargantuan chicken escalope followed by a light & delicious lemon cake. The coffee served is the italian favourite Illy and each is accompanied by delightful
(two small daisy shaped biscuits sandwiched with chocolate!). The cafe offers three internal seating areas - the lower one and upper mezzanine floors can be taken by local groups for business meetings, regular clubs etc - no charge but you'd be unlikely to walk out without enjoying a snack, treat or even a meal! And like me you will more than likely return! The café is very light and spacious with plenty of room between tables (so no problem for those with wheelchairs, buggies or prams).
So today I returned with another friend for lunch, a glass of wine and a good gossip! At 2pm the shop front seating was all taken and we were shown to the mezzanine floor - a light and airy area looking over the railway (double glazed so no noise!). When we left at 3pm the customers had changed but the front was still full - so it looks like it's getting quite a following & I notice good comments have appeared on the forum!
Wine is available by the glass or bottle, we opted for the
'IL Faggio' (a soft rounded deep red montepulciano d"abruzzo) (£4.50 175ml) plus sparkling water.
The hot meals choice is wide ranging from traditional pasta dishes eg lasagne
& cannelloni to traditional Sicilian Arancini (rice balls filled with either spinach & mozzarella or ragu). We opted for chicken risotto (£6.90) and meat balls with rice and new potatoes (£7.90). The portions are generous - this is not the place for a carb free dieter! The meatballs and new potatoes were sprinkled with parmesan cheese - according to my friend really worth trying although her personal preference would be to swap rice for a side salad. My advice; ask for what you want as I got the distinct feeling that customer satisfaction is priority to Joan Ferras and his team.
Matteo Delicatessen is a family business run by Italian Joan & his French partner Fleur, who live in Putney with their two year old son Matteo after whom the business is named! Having worked in many London restaurants Joan felt that there was a gap in the Putney market for an opportunity to bring the best of Italy & its traditions.
Too weak to walk away from the temptation of dessert we opted for the smaller options of selection of chocolate cannoli alla siciliana & sfogliatelle al limone (£0.95)- small crisp pastries one filled with a chocolate fondant and the other filled with a sweet yet sharp lemon cream accompanied by double espresso(£2.00). If that doesn't tempt you there is plenty of choice! Lunch for two came to under £30.
January 27, 2012