Italian food. Which images popped into your head? Chances are you thought of cheese laden pizzas and tangy tomato-based pasta dishes. Somehow, for some reason, pizzas and pasta have become synonymous with Italian cuisine. Don’t believe me? Just check menus from Pizza Express, Prezzo and Ask, which are very popular Italian chains in the UK. Pizza, pasta and risotto reign and a few non-carb items are added as a mere afterthought.
Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty to love about these type of dishes but there is only so much of the stuff you can eat in a lifetime before questioning whether there is something different out there to eat. As someone who is gluten-averse and jumped on the Atkins bandwagon years ago, my heart sinks when I’m in a party and someone suggests to go to an Italian restaurant. A salad it is then. If I’m lucky.
Independently owned Italian restaurants are your best bet if you’re hoping to enjoy the variety that true Italian cuisine offers. In contrast, reading the menu and discovering Osso Buco and other Italian recipes makes my heart soar and makes me want to order everything on the menu pronto. Now this is what I call “real” food!
My point? Gatti’s is one such place that I would gladly dine at every single day. Its menu is extensive and you’re spoilt for choice. The restaurant caters for those who are staunchly set in their British ways but overall the menu is Italian. Don’t worry, there is pasta!
For starters we had seared Pacific scallops served on a bed of spinach and chopped bacon (£12.85) and Insalata di frutti di mare (salad of octopus, squids, cuttlefish, prawns and Julienne of vegetables lemon and olive oil dressing, £10.90). The portions were huge and ingredients used top-quality. After all these years I officially lost my veal chop (£29.90) virginity, which proved to be a big hunk of meaty baby cow served with a white wine sauce to lighten it up. The beef fillet with peppercorn sauce (£22.90) was superbly cooked. Whatever you do, don’t forget to order the fried zucchini (£3), which is courgette chopped into batons, dipped in flour and deep fried. The latter is reason alone to visit Gatti’s.
By then we were stuffed and skipped the tempting desserts displayed on the dessert trolley.
Gatti’s is located in the heart of the City and a stone throw away from Liverpool Street station. The 130 seat restaurant is open morning for breakfast, noon for lunch, and night for dinner. Waiters are knowledgeable and go above and beyond to ensure you enjoy a great meal. If I were ever asked again to recommend an Italian eaterie in London, you know what my answer will be.
Gatti’s City Point
1 Ropemaker Street
P.S. I was a guest.