Italian food is too often associated with that bloated feeling you get from a packet of dried pasta after a bad day at work; frustratingly synonymous with comfort grub that feels neither delicate nor refined. Yet, if you’ve been lucky enough to actually dine in Italy, you'll know that the country’s flavours are exactly that, complex and comforting on a whole other level.
We found out why Enoteca Rosso is an easy way to make a trip to Italy for fresh, homemade pasta without having to leave the city limits; in fact, you’ll only have to travel to Kensington High Street.
The Wine List
This restaurant is so much more than just its food menu. So. Much. More.
Much like a wine cellar, the former-bank’s walls are covered in terracotta triangles housing the wine bottles which are available to its patrons. Naturally, the wine list is a tome that takes you from mountainous Abruzzo, to Tuscany and back down to Puglia, the 'heel' of Italy. Every colour preference is catered for in abundance, so you needn't worry about going thirsty or having to tolerate a red when you’re really more of a white.
We opted for an aperitif of Italian, sparkling wine. I’m no wine connoisseur, but this glass was delicate, delightfully light and nothing like the bottles of cheap plonk that I tend to pick up from Tesco. I’m most definitely a convert, even if just for sparkling whites.
The menu is a fast-paced meander through the valleys of Northern Italy, with each dish instructing you of its origin.
Pastas are offered in three sizes (small for £7, medium for £12 and large for £24) so you can share, or be selfish and feed your inner glutton. Meatier dishes also follow this pattern, but with elevated pricing. My friend and I went for a collaborative eating experience, opting for sharing size plates of pasta as mains, with a taglieri board of meats and cheeses to start.
As our tagliteri approached the table, our server guided us through the board, instructing us on which cheeses and meats would make the best pairings, and which to prioritise in order to get the best flavour. The Tuscan pistachio salami was a particular highlight for us both, with the whole board an adventure in itself.
Knowing burrata to be a trusted and humble flavour, we couldn't resist the black ravioli, stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes alongside a small pool of basil pesto (£24 to share). I knew it was the dish for me, and it's likely the dish for you too. Interesting and authentic, the pesto complimented the cheese perfectly, creating an alliance, rather than a battle of flavour.
The wild boar ragu tagliatelle was most definitely the main event. The slow-cooked boar had a deep flavour which clung onto the al dente pasta, adding a depth to the dish that made it feel like home away from home, even though Italy isn't mine.
Enoteca Rosso’s vibe is most definitely sexy, and it oozes the type of class you’d expect from a restaurant with a W8 postcode. Without a doubt, it's the perfect date night location, however, I’d almost equally recommend it as a good meeting place for old friends. With fresh pastas, sleek interiors and a service to match, you’ll seriously impress with this dining suggestion, as much as they seriously impressed me.