Opposite the Royal Bank of Canada, Bow Lane was an area frequented regularly by my wife and I, prior to the arrival of our son Joseph. Many happy evenings were spent in the "Beir Klinic" and later "The Bar Under The Clock" just on the corner of Bow Lane. Now, further down a restaurant called Zuccato resides that delivers a quality of food and service that I'm sure will it one of the winners in this competitive market.
Tonight, accompanied by an ex-colleague (Christine), we were heading a little further along Bow Lane to the Zuccato bar and restaurant. The Restaurant, opened in June, is located in the basement and surprisingly large when compared to the entrance and bar at ground level. Decorated plainly, in black and white, grey marbled tables and black and white photographs on the wall's you very much get the Italian feel of the place and with a modern selection of music being played in the background the restaurant has relaxed, but fun atmosphere about it.
We were seated in the corner, which gave us a good view of the restaurant and the food being served to other diners, neither Christine nor myself went for one of the pizzas on the menu. But must mention that the couple on the table opposite both had pizza, the pizza's that arrived looking perfectly cooked with generous portions of toppings on each of the pizza's.
For starter Christine had the avocado, tomato and rocket salad, with sliced Parmesan and citrus dressing (Insulate DI Recoil, Avocado e Ere) and I feeling adventurous had the fresh seafood salad (Compost DI Fruity DI Mare, Moscardini e Gamberi). When the dishes arrived we were both surprised by the size of these starters, primarily because both these starters were also available as a main course as stated in the menu. Christine was totally impressed with the salad, the avocado being at the perfect stage of ripeness for eating and the tomato's being full of flavour.
The seafood salad, was the highlight of the meal for me, when it arrived it looked well presented lying of a bed of rocket salad were prawns, mussels, clams, squid and black olives. I can honestly say that my first thought when seeing this placed in front of me was, that this dish, could have easily have come straight from Rick Steins kitchen. Seafood, is one thing that you either love or hate, and I must admit to having an on / off affair for several years with seafood since last night the affair is definitely back on.
Our main courses were also very good, the breast of chicken wrapped in ham, topped with cheese, sautéed with fresh sage and served with mashed potato (Valdostana di Pollo con Pure di Patate) was succulent, cooked to perfection and served with perfect mashed potato. Christine's sliced veal dipped in breadcrumbs, shallow fried with sautéed tomato's and aubergine timbale, was a great success even with Christine not being a great aubergine fan, the main courses were soon demolished.
When is comes to sweet it's never difficult to decide if apple pie's available, Zuccato's version of apple pie, an apple tart with raisins, pine nuts and served with a cinnamon ice cream was the choice straight away. This was a great success and apple went extremely well with the pine nuts and cinnamon ice cream, Christine's lemon sorbet, was excellent with lemon citrus favour provide a very light and cleansing taste to the mouth and was just the right sweet to have after such a filling meal.
All of this was washed down with an excellent bottle of Rioja, from a good selection of wines, also available was a wide selection of beers and spirits. As the evening progressed Zuccato's trade was beginning to pick up and by half past seven virtually all tables, were taken within the restaurant. We only had a limited time to talk to the manager, before she was off to deal with a group of twenty-seven arriving for a party, and decided to head off to allow that staffto deal with what looked to be another busy night.
Zuccato proved to be a lively and friendly place to eat, when quiet pop in for just a pizza or a full three-course meal if you wish. You will certainly be made to feel at home. If you intend to eat within the prime lunchtime or evening periods I would recommend you book, to avoid disappointment.Tel: 020 7329 6364
Adam Nelis, Christine Ketteringham, August 2001