Peter Morrell indulges his taste buds with genuine Italian ingredients imported from source
Pizzicotto is a charming restaurant a short stroll from the Kensington High Street shops so as well as serving excellent food it is well placed for you to recover after a heavy session of retail therapy. The restaurant is the sister of the now 50 year old London icon ‘Il Portico’. I recently had lunch at Pizzicotto and met some of the suppliers of the ingredients that the owners specially select to create that genuine Italian culinary experience.
I started with an aperitivo of a glass of prosecco, organic of course, it was light and floral. It has been produced by the restaurant’s organic wine supplier, La Cantina Pizzolato, a family owned winery founded in 1981. It’s based in the Treviso region of Italy, an area known as the garden of Venice.
Pizzicotto is a member of Slow Food UK, an organisation originally founded in Italy that promotes the production of good food in an environmentally sound way. Shane Holland a board member of Slow Food introduced us to its concept. This was followed by the supplier of the cheese and charcuterie, our first course, describing their origins. It was all good, particularly the salami
Matched wines with this course were two notable whites introduced by representatives from La Cantina Pizzolato. The two wines were a pinot gris and a chardonnay. The former was delicate and aromatic and the latter slightly heavier with fruity aromas. This course also gave us the opportunity to try the restaurant’s pizza bread, the dough is made with flour imported from Italy and allowed to prove for 72 hours for maximum flavour before being cooked in a super-hot wood fired oven.
The main course was Tagliatelle Al Vero Ragu Di Bologna, home-made pasta with a ragu sauce made of pork belly. This dish had pungent flavours and was paired with two organic red wines. A light, fruity merlot and Pizzolato’s ‘big gun’, Il Barbarossa. This second wine is made from the Raboso grape and had been aged in oak barrels. There were intense aromas in the bouquet of blackberries, cherries and spices. On the palate it was very complex with hints of chocolate, liquorice and tobacco. Silky smooth it left a strong and persistent finish, to me this wine was reminiscent of a Barolo
Our chocolate indulgence at the end was complemented by a wine made with the Manzoni grape, a pinot blanc / riesling cross breed. Off dry, it had good favours of exotic fruit, pleasant acidity and good mineral notes.
This lunch had been an excellent showcase of how good food can be when it has been properly produced, carefully selected and skilfully cooked. It was also a reminder that the beauty of Italian food is its simplicity, allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves.
La Cantina Pizzolato
267 Kensington High Street
London W8 6NA