Last month was the first anniversary of our pop up restaurant. It’s been a good year – we’ve enjoyed the hard work, learnt new recipes and met many interesting people. To celebrate, our pop up in October included the most popular dishes from throughout the year in what we called our ‘greatest hits’ menu.
We started off last year with the intention of having a new menu every time and we’re glad to say we’ve achieved this. This actually proved to be relatively easy; with the depth and breadth of Italian cuisine we were spoilt for choice. We also aimed to cook with produce that are in season and this has shaped our offerings throughout the year. We had Torta Pasqualina at Easter, Ribollita in autumn and kudos to everyone who ordered asparagus carbonara in May.
We’ve particularly enjoyed researching and trying new soup recipes. It’s a dish often overlooked in modern cooking but we’ve found it to be one of the most popular choices of our starters. It’s a great way of capturing the flavours and colours of the season, with the warmth of pumpkin soup in autumn and the freshness of pea soup at the start of summer. We also wanted to offer people authentic Italian food produce that are not commonly offered in other restaurants. Although we try to use locally sourced ingredients, like the brilliant dairy products from ‘Longley Farm’ in Yorkshire, we do import from Italy when necessary. We now try to include a signature antipasto plate on all of our menus, featuring a trio of lesser known cold sliced meats, local Italian cheeses and olives or other preserved vegetables.
The central concept of the restaurant was always to deliver the sort of pasta dishes one might expect to enjoy from a great Italian home cook. Our presentation is therefor simple and uncluttered, leaving the flavours and ingredients to speak for themselves. All our recipes are drawn from around Italy, like the wonderful Tuscan wild boar ragu, pesto with troffie from Linguria and Neapolitan meatball lasagne. We try hard to make every dish special and we think we offer a unique variety of pastas and sauces; honestly, researching, preparing and cooking them is almost as enjoyable as eating them!
One aspect of our menu that doesn’t change as much is our desserts, with our chocolate torte and lemon tart featuring every time. Served with crème fraiche, their rich and intense flavours are such a good way to end a meal. Our homemade ice creams and sorbets are also very popular; we often use seasonal fruits mixed with lemons and sugar to create bold flavours reminiscent of Italian gelato.
We are grateful to everyone who has helped and supported us from the very beginning. Thanks especially to our customers – we’ve got lots of ideas of how to get bigger and better next year and we’re looking forward to sharing them all with you!