A friend of mine has been recommending Pietrasanta for ages, but we’ve always put off coming here because for one, we weren’t altogether impressed with our first visit (granted it was years ago), and also we were waiting to move back to the West to start (re)discovering the joints in the area. L and M had a Journey to the West on Saturday, so what better reason to give Pietrasanta a long awaited revisit.
First off, they’re doing exceedingly well. Even with pretty large premises (they have a courtyard that isn’t visible from the outside, they still have 2 seatings for the weekend – 6.30 and 8.15. And even though I called more than 2 weeks in advance, we had to settle for an outdoor table because they were booked for an event indoors. Luckily the courtyard was quite pleasant and it was a cool evening.
The meal was off to a good start with a bread basket, a bottle of good extra virgin olive oil, and a pomodoro dip that, while not as good as the one at Osia, was still pretty damn tasty.
As with most Italian joints these days, they have off-menu specials that included a burrata, hooray. It was a no-brainer to have that as a shared starter, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it came with cherry tomatoes, salad as well as slices of parma ham. The burrata itself was wonderfully creamy inside, but I still think it could’ve been properly seasoned to enhance its flavour.
We shared a four cheese pizza as a starter as well, and this was a bit of a disappointment. Besides the tiny areas which had blue cheese (which were awesome but so few and far between), the rest of the pizza was quite bland and almost plasticky.
A ordered the pasta special – a squid ink pasta with a tomato and crab meat sauce. This brings to mind the one at Valentino, and we ordered it for comparison’s sake. I guess it was no surprise that Valentino’s came out tops. The one were was good, but not quite as rich or flavourful.
I ordered the dish that my friend has been recommending for ages – the home-made tagliatelle with sausage and truffle cream. In my opinion, this made up for any disappointments of the evening, and is the one dish that will make me return. The pasta was smooth and silky and paper thin, and the cream sauce was just rich enough not to be overly creamy or cloying. The flavours of the sausage and truffle went very well together, and I think this is going to be one of those dishes that I can’t not order whenever we come back. Yes, it can be a bit much for one person, but perfect to share.
Desserts weren’t really worth a mention, but L and M did say that their house red was one of the better house wines that they’ve had. Service was good, albeit a bit slow on the kitchen side, and it had a nice, laid-back vibe. They’ve certainly improved since our first visit, and the menu revamped somewhat. This would be another viable close-to-home option, but for the fact that reservations seem essential on weekends.
We came around the time it first opened and found it so-so. Suffice to say this place has made substantial improvements in food and service.
This would be a definite option for us if parking there wasn’t such a problem. It’s virtually impossible to get a space in front. And parking round back is a bit confusing. Maybe we’ll try for the first sitting next time.
5B Portsdown Road
Mon to Sat: 11.45 am to 2.30 pm; 6 pm to 10.30 pm
Sunday: 11.45 am to 10.30 pm
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