Monday, 4 October 2010

No-Mona Lisa at Da Vinci's

I always like to try and go here to eat when I'm home - simply because I love their pasta dishes - heck, I love Italian food full stop. (Pic: MetaPizza - source unknown.) Da Vinci's is a strange restaurant at the best of times; having spent a small fortune on beautiful smooth black and red granite table tops, they have cheap hollow knife handles - it always makes me chuckle.

For a change, we went with starters: I had soft, plump field mushrooms in a creamy smooth garlic and white wine sauce finished with sweet wilted spinach. His Lordship went for something a little different, but non-the-less delicious, "Asparagus Provincale". Four stems of firm, tasty asparagus, wrapped in fine parma ham baked in a pomodoro sauce topped with cheese. I was well impressed with the combination of flavour and texture and it's definitely a recipe we're bringing home with us.

I always end up having the Pollo della casa, as it's my favourite dish and a good measure of a restaurant - I expect large, succulent chicken pieces with my mushrooms, and a thick cheese sauce. DV's has never disappointed me yet. The sprinkling of parlsey over the baked cheese finish was a nice touch! He went for the Penne Salmone and was delighted by the texture of the fish and surprised by the accompanying mushrooms - a bold but brilliant move, adding firmness to the soft textures of the dish.

We gave it 20 minutes and finished off our meal with a shared plate of profiteroles - and regretted it. Sharing a plate I mean. They were fabulous! The chef makes a wonderful bittersweet chocolate sauce which manages to avoid being sickly whilst having a sumptuous richness. The sour touch to the edge of the bitter flavour was perfectly offset by the sweetened cream in the choux pastries themselves. All round, a true spectacle of a dish as it looks as good as it tastes. Tesco's, eat your heart out.

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