La Caverna Ristorante Pizzeria
30 North Parade, Matlock Bath, DE4 3NS
It is refreshing to find an Italian family-run restaurant with so much character, particularly considering the identikit eateries that seem to pop up regularly nowadays. Tucked away in the stunning village of Matlock Bath, this unique establishment is a gastronomic grotto, located just off North Parade. As you approach, the soft lights illuminating tables outside, you might just hear the sound of tinkling Italian music carried on the air. Once inside, you'll be greeted by well-informed staff, whitewashed stone walls and a glass dessert cabinet packed with treats. The rustic tricolore garlic bread was a fantastic start - freshly baked, laden with creamy mozzarella, aromatic rosemary and ruby red tomato. Salty beef bresaola was served alongside this, with fresh rocket and nutty Parmesan. Next came delicious Parmigiana di melanzane comprising melt-in-the-mouth aubergines baked in a rich tomato and cheese sauce, while vitello - pan-fried veal - topped with mozzarella and asparagus made for a similarly pleasing combination. This was accompanied by buttery, slightly caramelised rosemary potatoes. Lastly, the soft, rich profiteroles drenched in dark chocolate lived up to our now-high expectations, as did the decadent torta amaretti sponge with amaretto and cream. Lovers of liqueur should also try the robust, rum-soaked chocolate torta selva nera with fresh Chantilly cream - sheer excellence.
Open: Summer Open: Mon 11am-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm; Weds-Fri
11am-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm; Sat, Sun & Bank Holidays
Winter Open: Mon 6.30pm-10pm; Weds-Fri 6.30pm-10pm; Sat, Sun & Bank Holidays 11am-10pm