4.4.16

GASTROVINO, CHELSEA

A couple of weekends ago I had the most lovely Sunday. I'd spent Friday night and Saturday cooking for a pop up for 36 people on the Saturday night, so despite being knackered, I really wanted to get out of the flat, stretch my legs and eat some good food (that I hadn't cooked!) Bron came to mine in South West London and we then walked the four miles from there to Gastrovino, where I'd been invited to review, stopping a few times on the way for coffee, juice and to pet a donkey we passed(?!)

Gastrovino is a new Italian bar and restaurant located on the Kings Road, which is somewhere I so rarely go. We took our seats at the bench bar in the window where we people watched, chatted and ate an absolute feast of incredibly good Italian food. Gastrovino's marketing is being done by the lady who introduced me to VII Hills gin last year, so I started with a VII Hills gin and tonic, whilst Bron went for the Aper8 - aperol, St Germain, rhubarb bitters and prosecco. Both were perfectly refreshing aperitifs that kept us occupied til the food started to come out. If you go to Gastrovino and you're not fussy about what you can/can't eat then I really recommend letting the chef choose for you - he'll send out his best dishes of the day, made with the freshest seasonal produce he's had flown in from Italy and you'll be in for a treat. And as all the dishes range from £5-8 you're safe in the knowledge that you're not going to be stung price wise.

 
We started off with sausage and scarmoza arancini with a picante dip, mortadella cubes and friggitelli peppers (similar to padron). The arancini were gooey and oozy with a smoky note that worked so well with the spicy tomato dip. This was just a snack to get us going, but a great sign of things to come.
 

 
Homemade bread followed - three different types including a very good focaccia, to go with our first two proper dishes - both of which included cheese made by the restaurant's Italian “Mastro casaro” (Master Cheese Maker) just around the corner to the restaurant.
 

We had beetroot (cooked several ways) salad with salsa verde and stracciatella creamy cheese, and a whole burrata with tomato, blood orange sauce and a marjoram oil. Both plates were heavenly and we mopped up the last bits of cheese and sauce with our bread.


Next up were two plates of spring - an off menu ricotta with snow peas and shavings of white truffle, and octopus, salsa verde, black olives, capers and wild garlic. All perfectly cooked and prepared and expertly balanced in flavour. There aren't really enough words to describe how much we enjoyed the food at Gastrovino - but Bron's already booked the whole restaurant for her 30th so I think that tells you everything you need to know!


The last two dishes we tried were the lightest, crunchiest, juiciest calamari, deep fried prawns and wafer thin fried courgette discs with a vermouth mayonnaise, and saddle of rabbit with broad beans, pea shoots and the most wonderful sauce/gravy. Two very different yet absolutely perfect dishes to finish off a superb meal.





And finally, because post pop up Sunday celebrations - an espresso martini each. Served in a teacup and totally passable as pretending to not be drinking cocktails at 4pm on a Sunday! Gastrovino also have an excellent wine selection, and Bron found a wine she's been lusting after ever since a trip to Italy, but has been unable to find anywhere else. The wines recommended to go with our food were perfect - if you hadn't worked it out by now I fell in love with Gastrovino - the food, the drinks, the staff - there is nothing I can fault, and I'm booked to go back soon. And will book again after that. You should too!

 

 

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8 comments

  1. This all looks incredible! Those arancini especially look delicious.

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  2. I love the espresso martini disguise!

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    1. It's great isn't it. Totally got away with looking like we were drinking tea!

      Rosie xx

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  3. This place look like heaven! The dishes are perfect! I will love a fresh coffee!

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    1. It really was heavenly. Can't wait to go back for more!

      Rosie xx

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  4. There are simply TOO many delicious foods in this post - the arancini looks freaking sensational, I LOVE burrata and calamari and your photos and descriptions have got me needing some ASAP! Definitely going to need to go! :) Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions

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