La Porchetta - Clerkenwell
Just round the corner from City University, we discovered a wonderful little pizzeria - La Porchetta. The restaurant was warm and intimate yet modern and bright, with a pizza-baking station boldly situated in the dining area. This unique feature allows diners to watch the skilful chefs theatrically spin the pizza bases. With such fresh traditional Italian food being prepared before our eyes, my guest and I waited for our meals with anticipation. We began with starters of prawn and avocado salad and mussels. The salad was impeccably presented, full of wonderfully ripe avocado and tasty fresh prawns. The mussels, however, stole the show. Served in a bowl of sumptuous tomato, garlic, white wine and parsley sauce, they were the ideal appetiser, gorgeously delicious right to the last bite. With palates suitably whetted, we moved on to our main courses, which, for me, simply had to be fresh pizza. The Ciao jumped out at me straight away, with toppings of chicken, cherry tomato and chorizo. The base was thin, light and crispy, not to mention absolutely huge; it spilled generously over the sides of the plate and was satisfyingly filling. My guest, meanwhile, went for a linguine dish, comprising tiger prawns, chorizo, cherry tomatoes and white wine. The ingredients were clearly carefully picked and blended together wonderfully, creating a distinguished and filling dish. Suitably full but unable to resist the desserts, we treated ourselves to a tiramisu as recommended. Creamy, sweet and luscious, it was a commendable dessert and our compliments were duly extended. We also opted for a refreshing lemon sorbet, thus concluding our delightful meal. In brief, La Porchetta is a wonderful and, I must add, very reasonably priced restaurant. I was certainly pleased to learn of the four additional locations around London, too.