"A homely and authentic independent Italian with pizza at the heart"Review Rating: Reviewed by T.A.O
One of the reasons chain restaurants are tempting is the fact that knowing what you’re going to get – as opposed to taking a chance on a mysterious independent – is comforting. However, risk a gamble and you might be rewarded. We risked and we were rewarded with an authentic Italian at San Gennaro on Battersea Park Road. No, you don’t recognise that logo, those colours are a mystery to you and when peering in at the staff you can see no uniforms… this friends, is an independent and the pizza will make you happy.
Split across three levels - ranging from ground floor to mezzanine via a cosy platform tucked away at the back – San Gennaro is spacious enough to risk without making a booking. A weathered paint job decorates the walls along with some splashes of the tri-color for that lived-in feel and pictures of famous Italians are hung here and there. In terms of interior design that’s it and it is enough. The words ‘authentic’ and ‘traditional’ were made for this place. Informal and exceptionally friendly, if this is your local Italian then you’re in luck. But what would it be without the food?
After opting first for the wild boar tortellini over pizza we were left slightly disappointed. The tiny dish of pasta was elegantly flavoured with pancetta and a butter sauce but minuscule portions in homely restaurants do not make a good match. And at £13.50 we were left grumpy. So we ordered pizza which was where it became clear that this is where San Gennaro thrives. The dough is made daily and the freshness came through in the final slice. Light, crispy and delicately topped, this was some good Neopolitan pizza.
The menu also features risottos and further pasta dishes as well as a reasonably priced wine list. A meal for four including service and wine came in under £80, which felt like good value. Home-cooking, great pizza and a relaxed, warm environment is what you’ll find in the independent and authentic San Gennaro.
T.A.O reviewed San Gennaro on Fri 10 Oct 2014