We wandered along a bustling Hackney street on this sunny summer’s evening and quickly reached our easygoing Italy in London destination – Venerdi !
As it was such nice weather, Martin (the new GM of only three weeks) recommended us to start our evening dining outside on one of the pavement tables. The perfect spot for watching the world go by whilst sipping on a summery drink of Carpenè Malvolti – a rose cuvee brut (£33) with refreshing wild cherries and raspberries flavour notes.
We kicked off our evening with perfectly cooked scallops (£9.50) served with and on a bed of crushed peas, and fritto misto (£9.90) (or misto fritto as they call it) – you can’t beat a plate of perfectly cooked fried seafood! Loved the use of chickpeas batter made with soda water rather than the traditional batter; created a wonderful textural and flavour element. Though we were sad that they had just changed the menu and the nduja (Italian spicy sausage unique to Calabria) was no longer part of this dish. Anyway, it took us straight back to holidaying by the sea in Calabria, Italy.
Next we moved onto mains of Ribeye Paddella (£16.50) – ribeye in a peppercorn sauce and spinach – and Salmone alla griglia (£16) – grilled salmon in a lemon butter sauce, though this also had a slight change from seabass ravioli to salmon ravioli.
Unfortunately, the ribeye was slightly overcooked (had gone slightly grey – was medium-well done, rather than what I requested of medium – rare). Though Martin, credit to him, did quickly offer to change this, but it would have meant the rest of the dishes would have gone cold, so we politely declined. Anyway, we were having an enjoyable summer evening dinner outside, so did not mind this as Martin was also being the perfect host and spent time chatting to us, even when the restaurant was busy.
Loved the crab salad (£7.50), especially the vibrant flavours of orange and finely sliced fennel; wild mushrooms (£4.50) and roasted potatoes with rosemary (£4.50) – the rosemary had got all nice and crispy.
These summery dishes went perfectly with the next wine recommendations that would also complement our mains – a Montipulciano and Merlot. We learnt that they take a lot of care and attention with choosing the wines on their menu to complement the dishes.
As it was starting to get cooler now late evening, Martin suggested we move inside. As we walked into a light and neatly designed restaurant, we got to watch Chef Marco – the ‘pizza master’- in action:
It was a twenty minute wait for the fondant (Tortino al cioccolato – £6) but it was worth it, you could smell the chocolatey aroma as our fondant was cooking. As we cut into the middle of the fondant, molten chocolate oozed out like a lava flow. It was gorgeous and the perfect end to the evening, accompanied by one of Chiara’s favourite desserts – Tiramisu (£5.50).
Keep Venerdi on your radar as they are going to start doing bottomless brunch soon!
#Italian #cuisine @CarpeneMalvolti #rose #cuvee #brut
Instagram: @alexandrarosecreative @venerdi_italian @carpenemalvolti
Thank you to Alexandra for the invite and organising our review meal, and to Martin and Felix for warm and attentive service. We will be back soon to check out the bottomless brunch!