Friday, March 24, 2006

Fifteen Trattoria, London

Westland Place,
London N1 7LP

Last night I made another trip to Fifteen, the restaurant run by Jamie Oliver. This time however I was to be eating in the trattoria rather than the downstairs restaurant.

I met my friend in the bar and we were shown to our table. We both had antipasti to start, which was delivered to the table on a wooden board. We had explained to the waiter that I was vegetarian, and he made sure that the meat for the antipasti was brought on a side-plate. The antipasti included olives, squash, beetroot, chard, caramelised onion, mozzarella, baby carrots and other stuff that I forget. It was all very nice, but I have to make special mention of the squash that had an amazing flavour and was cooked to perfection, including its skin.

We decided that we would do the whole primi, secondi thing so, as there were no veggie options on the secondi menu, after a brief chat with the waiter, I decided that I would have two dishes from the primi menu.

First off I chose the four-cheese tortellini with a sage butter sauce. The pasta was cooked just right, the filling was very tasty and the sage butter divine. All in all, a perfect primi, I couldn’t fault it at all.

Next up I had gnocchi with treviso (if I remember correctly). I have to say that this was very disappointing indeed. When it arrived, the dish looked good, but upon further inspection the gnocchi itself appeared to me not much more than mashed potato. To be honest, I can’t imagine how it would hold together if it was dropped into boiling water. The sauce was okay and would’ve been fine with a more robust gnocchi, but what I effectively ended up with was mashed potato in a cheesy sauce.

Fortunately, the dessert rescued the situation. I had a pannacotta with grappa which was lovely.

The trattoria experience is different to the restaurant experience that I described in an earlier blog. It’s more of a ‘standard’ restaurant (if there is such a thing) and appears to be a lot busier – not necessarily in numbers of people, more in the atmosphere of the place - but the service was up to the same standard as the restaurant. Next to our table was a blackboard that listed the breakfast menu. It all sounds very nice, so I think a morning visit will have to be arranged sometime.

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