I have been to a fair few Italian restaurants as of late. I do like Italian food and trying different styles of cooking is great as it makes eating out more exciting as well as giving inspiration for home cooked meals. My latest restaurant to add to my ever increasing list is Rossopomodoro. With their headquarters in Naples and their “chefs from Neapolitan pizzaioli families making Neapolitan dishes using ingredients sourced only from the Napoli region, you won’t find a more genuine Neapolitan experience outside Napoli!”. Most of the staff appeared to be Italian too so it almost feels like you have gone to Naples for a quick visit.
There are branches around the UK. I visited the one in Covent Garden.
This restaurant is pretty spacious with two seating areas, one on the ground floor and the second on the first floor. It was clearly very popular as it was busy when we arrived and there was a que of people waiting to be seated. Of course this is a great sign and we waited patiently to be seated. It was quite hypnotising watching the waiters moving from one table to another almost like a dance and clearly with efficiency in mind. Not soon after we were seated having been warmly welcomed by our waiter.
The atmosphere was warm and inviting and it’s the perfect place to visit with family, friends, bring a date (the meatball scene from Lady and the Tramp springs to mind), celebrate a birthday – this is one of those places where the staff will bring a dessert and sing to the person who is celebrating as we saw it happen with the table next to ours.
A nice mix of wine and cocktails are available. There is a special monthly menu perfect for the regulars so they can continue to have their taste buds excited by different flavourful dishes. On the menu you can choose from popular Italian street food dishes and there are even gluten free options. To add plenty of varied flavour they use a 9 different tomatoes in their various dishes (not all in the same ones). On the menu we saw some traditional Italian dishes that you might not always see in other Italian restaurants in the UK these guys pride themselves in serving great authentic Italian cuisine that isn’t quite like that found elsewhere.
There is an open kitchen so you can watch the pizzas being prepared and cooked.
Calamari e Zucchine (Calamari and Courgette) – Street Food
Fried calamari and fried courgettes zeppole with a lemon dressing.
The calamari was tender although the batter coating was not quite as crunchy as I would have liked. The courgette zeppole had grated courgette which you could see although it didn’t seem like it had much. This had a delicate flavour to it and both this and the calamari could have done with a little seasoning although it was served with a wedge of lemon which did help add flavour. The lemon dressing wasn’t as tangy as one might expect leaning more to a mild lemon flavour. It was good to see a nice crispy piece of lettuce in there not one that had wilted or started browning helping to demonstrate the freshness of the ingredients used.
Polpette Di Melanzane
Aubergine polpette with Datterini cherry tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese shavings.
Something I had yet to try before this had a gorgeous creamy consistency to it from the finely blended aubergine. Again delicately flavoured and you can really taste the smoked mozzarella which was nice and not overpowering and complemented the aubergine nicely. The bed of grilled tomatoes add a great rich flavour to the dish. These tomatoes were clearly ripe having been grown in Italy and picked at the optimal time rather being picked to early and than left to ripen in transit. These get regular deliveries of produce from Italy which explains the wonderful flavours.
There were plenty of other starters to choose from and I must revisit to try one of the fresh mozzarella starters I saw a few of these come out after we had ordered and boy did it look good.
Pizza – Massese
Plum tomato sauce, mozzarella, spicy spianata salami and basil.
This really was lovely. There was a layer of rich tasting tomato sauce which on it’s own would have been gorgeous and to add to this the salami which was full of flavour and then the creamy mozzarella which topped it. This was very good and I was pleased my friend and I had decided to go halves on each dish so we could get the full pleasure of each. The bread base was just the right thickness and there was a nice texture to it.
Neapolitan lasagna with layers of ragù sauce, beef meatballs, pork sausage, Neapolitan salami, boiled egg, buffalo ricotta cheese, smoked mozzarella, buffalo milk fondue and Parmesan cheese.
An interesting dish to say the least I had no idea they served lasagna like this in Naples but now I do. I have never seen egg, meatballs or pork sausage as ingredients in lasagna and I am sure that many of you will agree with me that it is different although it really does make this the most fun dish to eat. No mouthful is the same with a different mix of ingredients each time and it was extremely pleasurable to eat. It was like going on a treasure hunt, you might find a whole meatball, or a big chunk of sausage or salami. Of course this was really filling even though we halved it between us. The portion was really big!!!! It doesn’t look quite as big in the photo but it was enormous which aroused my suspicion, were all portions of this dish the same size? The answer, yes they were not trying to stuff me silly so I needed to be rolled out they actually did the largest portions of lasagna I have ever seen. I have to say this was super value for money and if you can’t eat it all ask for a doggy bag. I saw a few people do this whilst we were there which was good as I do hate to see food being wasted. This dish is so big it could be eaten by someone without the need of a starter and just the addition of a side salad. We didn’t order any sides as we really didn’t think we could manage to eat them too and we were correct in doing so. This is the sort of place you need to visit a few times as there are so many delicious things on the menu you will want to keep going back to try them all and enjoyed them over and over too.
Prosecco, strawberry puree.
This was yummy and extremely refreshing and went very well with my meal. I’ve got to make these at home over the Summer when I have guests for dinner.
Ricotta e Cioccolato
Chocolate & creamy buffalo ricotta mousse, Pan di Stelle hazelnut biscuits, fresh red fruits.
This dessert was exceptionally light and smooth. It was lovely and chocolatey and nicely presented. A lovely end to the meal.
Absolut, Kalhua, espresso Napoletano, sugar.
This has a fabulous kick to it and is perfect for all coffee lovers. It’s pretty strong so be warned unless you are a seasoned drinker you might not make it past one.
Home-made coffee tiramisù with mascarpone and Nutella.
This was our favourite dessert. Not quite the classic tiramisu we expected and it didn’t really taste of coffee although this could have been because the martini was so strong we may not have been able to detect it after drinking that. It was super rich and had a rich chocolatey or should I say nutella flavour. Any chocoholic would be in heaven eating this decadent and silky smooth dessert.
A cream liqueur made with sweet and refreshing cantaloupe melons.
I haven’t had this in a while as my last bottle ran out and I forgot to get more in. It is fantastic with the most fabulous melon flavour. There are other fruity options to choose from too and I am sure once you guys try them you will love them too.
I was pleased to see that all the portions were a fair size and that the prices were reasonable for the location too and this had clearly filtered through due to it’s obvious popularity.
Whilst at the restaurant I observed that within minutes of tables becoming available and being cleaned they were filled again indicating this places popularity. We had a lovely evening thanks to our server Mariano who was extremely knowledgeable about all the food and what was popular and also what he had tried and enjoyed himself.
Have you visited any Rossopomodoro restaurants yet?
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We were guests of Rossopomodoro and would love to thank them for a lovely evening. All views are my own as always.