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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Traditional Italian food in London - Briciole

Sometimes I yearn for the type of hearty Italian fayre that only ample-bosomed Sicilian women make in their rural sun-soaked villas for their noisy, hand-gesturing families.

Luckily, I recently stumbled across a quaint Italian deli and restaurant by the name of Briciole, which serves exactly this kind of food, in a homely, non-pretentious atmosphere. 

I took a fellow food-lover who used to refuse to dine in Italian restaurants, believing he could make the generic pasta dishes better himself, so I knew he would be the strictest critic.

We arrived disappointingly full at the bustling restaurant, having previously devoured an epic kebab-laden feast for lunch earlier that day (hey, we're Persians, its how we roll), yet we were impressed with the pleasant summer scene of Mediterranean-style outdoor and indoor tables heaving with tanned diners and adorned with charming pot plants.

As I scanned Briciole's enormous menu - a combination of traditional italian dishes and copious varieties of fine cheeses, I began to slowly regain my appetite (this is also how I roll).

To start, we indulged in a delightful cheese-fest...

There was a walnut, gorgonzola and fig salad that disappeared within minutes and a mesmerising menarche of moreish morsels on a plate - consisting of cured Italian meats, sweet potato bread, truffles on toasted ciabatta and the most exciting grilled slabs of cheese I have ever tried in my cheese-obsessed life. It was a smoked cows milk cheese called Scamorza Affumicata. Order this when you visit and thank me via an abundance of complementary Tweets. 

Such cheesy splendour...

By the time the mains arrived by our slightly protruding bellies, we were slightly fearful of further gorging, yet in the name of honourable food blogging, we ploughed on remarkably.

A whole roasted sea bass with red peppers and olives appeared, which was outstanding and made eating on a dangerously full stomach an effortless affair.

The sides of dark wilted spinach and cheese-drenched (ok, I have a cheese addiction) baked asparagus were also rather splendid in nature.

I'm not usually partial to pasta when I dine out, yet I found the tagliolini with red Sicilian prawns and sweet cherry tomatoes to be a fetching flourish of flavours that reminded me of balmy Sardinian summers consisting of long evenings feasting in candlelit trattorias that would never seem to close.

Luckily, my dining companion also found that the wares presented to us met his refined Italian dining tastes, leaving me basking in a pool of merry smugness at being the one to have discovered such a foodie gem.


We finished our feast off with an ample portion of sublime coffee panna cotta and a satisfyingly golden-topped creme brûlée infused with aromatic bergamot. 

"Sorry, I don't have room for pudding", said me, NEVER

Overall, our evening at Briciole was an exquisite eating experience, which I would thoroughly recommend to those who seek home cooked Italian food minus the pomp...and ample bosoms. 

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