"I have been back many times...it has never disappointed!"Review Rating: Reviewed by KimT
I am nervous about telling people about this place as it is my absolutely most favourite restaurant of the moment. If too many people discover it, I won’t be able to get in!
It is tucked away amongst the many other restaurants along the pedestrianised and tables-outside-in-the-road Church Street just back from the river at Twickenham. I discovered it quite by accident. I had spent a pleasant evening with some girlfriends at the various beautiful riverside pubs on a warm, summer’s evening. It was 10pm and we were hungry – but needed more than chips. Or curry (and there are some good Indian restaurants in the vicinity). Late dining? No problem! - and we were ushered in warmly.
The staff are a delight – really friendly. Attentive but not over bearing. Genuine. It’s a small, rustic and cosy restaurant with interesting dark wood, brick and iron work décor – although it does extend quite a way out to the back so don’t be dismayed if it looks busy (although I have never seen it empty).
Whilst positioned as a traditional Italian restaurant, the food is incredible. I was genuinely surprised at just how original some of the dishes were – and all beautifully prepared.
Dinner starters include baby calamari, grilled aubergine, chicken liver, deep fried king prawns and grilled asparagus. There are extensive pasta dishes including scrummy things like tagliatelle with tiger prawns and chilli, linguine with clams and crayfish, pecorini ravioli and duck pappardelle. There is seafood or tuscan sausage and green lentils, shallots and fresh herbs risottos. All meats are represented in the mains – chicken, pork belly, lamb liver, roasted duck, fillet of beef, braised lamb shank and braised venison (vegetarians best stick to the pasta as there is only fillet of bream here – which is excellent). I haven’t done justice to describing the menu – as the combinations of vegetables, jus and herbs are what make the cooking so remarkable.
The prices are towards the higher end of the spectrum but it is not expensive – you tend to stay there quite a while and have several courses with wine but an average cost for two is around £50.
I have been back many times – for Sunday brunch with friends (the herb omelette is excellent), for romantic candlelit dinners, for comfortable chats with mates. They are also quite happy if you turn up with kids. It has never disappointed.
KimT reviewed Osteria Pulcinella on Tue 29 Jul 2008