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.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Restaurant

La Barca
80-81 Lower Marsh
London

Phone:- 0207 928 2226

Website www.labarca.co.uk

Overview

Last Thursday Eva and I, having quaffed an ale in the nearby Firestation pub in Waterloo, wandered off to La Barca to have a meal.

La Barca is a traditional Italian restaurant, situated near to The Old Vic theatre.

Ambience

La Barca was very busy that evening, being crowded with theatregoers from The Old Vic. However, despite the fact that we had not booked, we were found a comfortable table without any delay.

La Barca was decorated in a cosy and welcoming manner; red tiles on the floor, linen tablecloths, wine bottles stacked on racks around the walls and a wooden beamed white ceiling.

Since the restaurant was located near to The Old Vic, there was an extensive array of photos of stars (past and present) who have dined in the restaurant.

The atmosphere was lively and stimulating.

Menu

The menu contained an extensive array of Italian meat, fish and pasta dishes including; Gamberoni Burro e Aglio, Insalata Tricolore, Gamberetti Cocktail, Pate della Casa, Bresaola Con Parmigiano, Pollo all’Agrodolce, Pollo Luciano, Pulcino Pasquale and Guelfi e Ghibellini Toscani.

There was also a very tempting cold buffet counter, which offered a good choice of starters; for those who wished to mix and match a taste of Italy for themselves.

Service

The staff were friendly and efficient. We were offered a bowl of excellent garlic olives and bread to munch on, whilst we perused the menu.

Food

I started with the Guelfi e Ghibellini, which was lasagne and cannelloni served together “half and half”. This was excellent. The two dishes complimented each other, without either one overpowering the other. The sauce was rich and creamy; whilst the pasta was succulent and moist, and was generously stuffed with meat seasoned with basil and garlic.

I chose the spring chicken in olive oil, flavoured with chillies, for my main course. This was decently cooked; the bird being succulent and tender. The oil and chilli did not overpower the delicate flavour of the poussin. The dish was accompanied by roast potatoes, green beans and carrots.

I was very happy with my choice.

Eva started with the crab, prawn, mango and avocado salad; which was well presented, and tasted superb.

Eva then chose the fillet of veal with truffles for her main course. This dish consisted of a tender, thinly cut fillet of veal, cooked with truffles in a white wine cream sauce. The dish was very rich and unctuous, but not overpowering; the ingredients, again, complimented rather than overpowered each other.

Eva also chose the roast potatoes, green beans and carrots.

We eschewed, as we were full, the dessert trolley. However, I would say that the variety of desserts on offer looked excellent; both well prepared and tempting.

The meal, which included a robust Barolo and liqueurs, came to £102 including service.

Overall Opinion

I am happy to recommend this restaurant. We will certainly be returning.

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