Pasta Di Piazza invited us to try out their food as a family and we were pleased to accept as we’d been before and enjoyed it. Pasta Di Piazza is a long-established Italian restaurant in the St.Paul’s Square area of Hockley. It’s within easy walking distance of the city centre too, so it’s very accessible. Outside the restaurant is a riot of colour with its bright, cheerful flower displays, but with food plants like tomatoes mixed in with the blooms. Inside it’s a traditional restaurant atmosphere which makes it feel like a cosy and comfortable place to eat.
My starter was Crab Meat & Smoked Salmon and doesn’t it look beautiful? Comprising white crab meat on a bed of avocado salad, topped with smoked salmon and extra virgin olive oil, this is quite a rich dish, but I didn’t feel it was too much and the hint of lemon cut through it anyway. For me this was my stand out dish of the meal and I’d certainly be looking to have this again on a return visit.
R had the Pomodoro Ripieno: a warm tomato stuffed with grilled marinated vegetable, caramelised onion and pine nuts topped with melted mozzarella. The tomato was large, ripe and juicy and filled with Mediterranean flavours. H had Garlic Bread for his starter. I think it was really intended to be a side dish, but he loves garlic bread. It came pizza style with a very thin dough and a layer of tomato on the top – it slid down very quickly indeed.
When you are at a restaurant that has pasta in its name, it seems the right thing to do to have a pasta dish. That was my thinking, but I’m not sure about the two boys, but they did both go for pasta too. I had the Fettucine Con Pollo Limone which is made from pieces of chicken cooked in a lemon sauce, served with peas, asparagus and fettuccine pasta. I really enjoyed this dish and found the balance between the flavours to be spot on: it’s so easy for the lemon to dominate I think.
H went for Spaghetti Carbonara. This is something we eat at home quite a lot as we always have the ingredients in and it is quick to make. H loyally said that he preferred Daddy’s, but when I snaffled a bit, I have to say this version was pretty good. R chose Linguine Con Gamberoni E Pollo which was a linguine pasta cooked with king prawns, chicken, tomato sauce and hint of chillies, which was quite a rustic dish, but tasty too.
R loves Tiramisu, so he naturally picked the Tiramisu Casalingo from the menu. Tiramisu is a traditional creamy dessert featuring sponge soaked in brandy, sambuca and amaretto liqueur with espresso, layered with mascarpone cheese & cream. He got a very generous wedge of tiramisu which pleased him greatly. H was full by this time and couldn’t manage a pudding, although he did sneak a taste of mine.
I decided to be a bit adventurous and tried something I’d not had before: Zabaglione. It’s a traditional Italian dessert made from Marsala wine, sugar & egg yolks. As it includes egg yolks and is served warm, it’s prepared to order. It was a rich, boozy, creamy mix and delicious. The sponge finger biscuit provided some crunch and something to dip.
We really enjoyed our visit to Pasta Di Piazza and I certainly expect to see us back again.We know lots of people who go regularly who really rate the restaurant and it’s easy to see why.