Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Restaurant

La Novita
186 The Broadway
Wimbledon
London

Phone:- 0208 540 8887

Website www.lanovitawimbledon.co.uk

Overview

Eva and I were wandering around Wimbledon the other Saturday, and decided to take “pot luck” by trying out La Novita.

This is a family owned and run restaurant, that serves Italian food with a regional twist.

Ambience

La Novita was absolutely packed with people when we arrived. However, the staff were able to find us a decent table for two out of harms way.

The layout of and ambience La Novita, which was not that large, was more like an upmarket café rather than a traditional restaurant; it was cosy, inviting and lively. The walls were painted white, decorated with red pen and ink murals depicting scenes of eating and drinking. At the far end of the restaurant, in front of the kitchen, there was a chilled deli counter containing a selection of meats and salads. On top of the counter was a meat slicer, which was used to freshly prepare the cold cuts of meat for the diners.

Wine bottles were generously stacked on wire racks around the wall, and the floor was stripped pine. The tables were laid with linen cloths.

Menu

The menu offered a very good range of regional dishes including; brown wheat pasta, cuttlefish, meatballs with dumplings, duck, seabass, steaks, meat and fish dishes. All the recipes had been devised with a little more thought and imagination than the standard Italian fayre.

Service

The service was very friendly and efficient, the staff were very welcoming and helpful. Even though the restaurant was packed, and there was a centre table of around 12 people, the staff managed to attend to all the diners needs with good humour and courtesy. They also managed to weave their way between the tightly packed tables without a single spillage.

We were given an appetiser of ciabatta, with olives, drenched in olive oil; it was fresh and pleasant.

Food

I chose the brown wheat spaghetti with spicy Italian sausage, in a cheese sauce, for my starter. This was absolutely excellent. The spaghetti had a very special flavour, definitely a cut above the ordinary white spaghetti served elsewhere. There was a generous quantity of chopped spicy sausage in the dish, which was very flavoursome but not overpowering. The cheese sauce was rich and creamy, but not oily or floury. This was an excellent start to the meal.

I chose the spring chicken with garlic for my main course. This was delightful. It was tender and succulent, the garlic was not overpowering, the chicken had been cooked moist and to perfection. It was served on a bed of aubergines, roasted carrots and mushrooms. This was accompanied by a large side dish of potatoes, these had been sautéed in olive oil with rosemary and garlic; superb!

Eva started with the cold cut selection. This was freshly prepared from the deli counter, and consisted of; cuts of ham, carpacio, and Italian sausage; all served on a bed of carrots, and aubergines doused in olive oil. It was very fresh and tasty.

Eva chose a pizza for her main course. This was a light dough based pizza topped with cheese and tomato; layered with artichokes, mushrooms, bacon and red peppers. It was flavoursome and of good quality. She was very pleased with her choice.

The meal, which included cocktails a bottle of Pinot Grigio and brandies came to £62 before service.

Overall Opinion

La Novita was a very good find, the food was definitely top quality; it was a venue that was clearly very popular with the local inhabitants of Wimbledon. The next time we are there, we will definitely visit it again.


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