Rossini at The Leatherne Bottel
This elegant restaurant brings the authentic flavour of Italy to a stunning riverside setting on the banks of the Thames. The name is inspired by Gioachino Rossini, who as well as being a great composer was a great connoisseur of Italian food. The menu offers a wonderful assortment of fish and seafood dishes, such as fritto misto di mare - calamari rings and prawns lightly dusted in flour and fried - and sea bass served with anchovies, olives, sundried tomatoes, pistachios and lemon zest. There is, of course, a fantastic choice of pasta dishes, including a favourite of mine, spaghetti alle vongole - baby clams, garlic and a white wine sauce - as well as popular classics such as tagliatelle alla bolognese and spaghetti alla carbonara. Meat lovers will be delighted with dishes such as escalope of veal with smoked Scamorza cheese and sage, and tender fillet steak with ham, onions and porcini mushrooms. All mains are served with a healthy selection of potatoes and seasonal vegetables, and the freshest of ingredients are used, sourced from local suppliers and specialists in Italy. In true Italian style, the antipasti and pasta dishes are generous, so if you want room for a dessert from the mouth-watering daily selection, think of them as small mains rather than starters. Your meal can be accompanied by either Old or New World wines and rounded off by proper Italian coffee - a fitting close to a most harmonious evening.