Posts Tagged ‘Italian food’

Marcello’s

September 22, 2013
pizza oven

pizza oven

vegetable soup

vegetable soup

steak with vegetables and twice baked potato

steak with vegetables and twice baked potato

For starters excellent vegetable soup served in an enormous bowl.

Followed by steak served as main with vegetables and twice baked potato.

The steak was excellent, the vegetables not so good, and it would be preferable to have as a choice a side salad instead of the vegetables.

Twice baked potato? Well actually half a potato. The potatato is baked in an oven, stuffed, then put back in the oven.

I also tried a little of the grilled salmon. This was execellent.

I am not sure what the desert was, other than a speciality of Sicily. Strange, ground coffee sprinkled on the desert and the plate.

Marcello’s is a newly opened Italian restaurant in the centre of Protaras, outside Sunrise Beach Hotel. Unless you wish to wait for a table, it is wise to book, as very busy.

Clients at Sunrsie Beach Hotel get a good deal. If they are booked for evening meal, so long as they let reception know who will book them a table, can eat at Marcello’s instead of the hotel restaurant for their evening meal.

Note: For those on the Sunrise Beach Hotel special deal, there is a surcharge of 5 euros on steak or sea bass.

It is worth checking out the pizza oven, imported from Italy.

After dinner at Marcello’s, a wander down the street and a drink at Cheers.

Lunch at Bottega dei Sapori

July 9, 2012
Italian coffee shop  Bottega dei Sapori

Italian coffee shop Bottega dei Sapori

mushroom tortellini

mushroom tortellini

There are two places worth eating at in Alton, a small relatively unspoilt market town in Hampshire, the source of the River Wey, O’Connor’s and Bottega dei Sapori.

Bottega dei Sapori is an Italian coffee shop cum restaurant cum Italian shop.

As you walk in your eyes are caught by a display of scrumptious looking cakes. As you walk through, on the left is a small room in which Italian produce is on sale, bread and seeds.

Walk through and you can enter a small garden, where I am pleased to report smoking is not allowed. I have never understood why for those who wish to sit outside in the fresh air they have to suffer from those who seem to think it is their right to pollute the air around them.

I ordered mushroom tortellini. I ordered off the board, which is what I recommend.

The mushroom tortellini was delicious.

I would have tried one of the cakes, but it was late afternoon and I was running short of time to have a walk around Alton. I had already missed the Alton Food Festival. I did though try blackberry crumble or pie which was sitting on the side. It was delicious.

All the ingredients are either fresh sourced locally or sourced from Italy.

Their coffee is single origin Bourbon Arabica from El Salvador with Rainforest Alliance Certification. One of the best Arabica coffees I have ever tried was Zapatista coffee from an autonomous region of Mexico.

I had a chat with the Italian owner. I learnt he was from north of Venice, not far from Bassano del Grappa.

With the exception of Ristorante Alla Corte the food in Bassano del Grappa was over priced and awful, then to add insult to injury when you came to pay the bill you found you were hit with an extortionate cover charge. On one occasion 50%!

It is somewhat ironic that one has to travel to Alton to discover excellent Italian food.

I am at a loss why people eat in disgusting fast food outlets when there are decent restaurants serving excellent freshly prepared dishes.

Next door to the Italian coffee shop (it is really a small restaurant) the site of what used to be the bank that belonged to the brother of Jane Austen.

A Jane Austen trail runs through Alton and nearby Chawton where she lived.

Jamie’s Italy

September 1, 2010
I should have been an Italian

I should have been an Italian

The Slow Food movement started in Italy but it could have started anywhere. Slow Food is a celebration of local food, its methods, its culture, the use of local produce, its place in local culture and the preservation of local traditions and farming methods.

Jamie Oliver is passionate about food. This shows in his writing. But why Jamie’s Italy? What does a geezer from Southend-on-Sea know about Italy and Italian food?

It was his passion for food that led Jamie to Italy. He travelled across the country. He talked to local people, he watched how they prepared and cooked their food. He took notes. The result Jamie’s Italy.

This is something we can all do and it is something I have started to do. If I like a dish or a meal, I talk to the chef, I visit the kitchen, I record what I find. I then write it up to share with others.

I am not sure if it is in Jamie’s Italy or Jamie’s Kitchen that he shows a picture of a slaughtered sheep. He makes no apologies for this, he says it is important that we learn where our food comes from. He also makes the point that we should eat quality meat, organic meat, that we know where it comes from, we should know our butcher. I would add it should be free range and from rare breeds.

Expensive yes, but good food does not come cheap. Quality ingredients is half way there to a decent meal. If we find it expensive, do not go for cheapness, instead eat meat less often.

I was reminded of a restaurant I was taken to by a friend in Tenerife. The slaughtered pigs were hanging to one side!

Jamie makes this point repeatedly. Buy the best. The best is not always the most expensive. Local markets usually know their onions.

Quality olive oil makes all the difference. I find very good olive oil comes from Palestine. Small groups bring it out of Palestine and by buying it you are helping Palestinians suffering under Israeli occupation.

Jamie’s Italy is arranged like an Italian menu or a traditional Italian meal: antipasti (starters), primi (first course), insalate (salads), secondi (main course), contorni (side dishes), dolci (desserts).

For my lovely friend Sian with who I have had the pleasure to dine at Jamie’s Italian in Guildford. The food was excellent as was the pleasure of the company of my dining companion. We were not though too impressed by the house wine served in tetra paks!

Also see

Fried pizza recipe (Pizza fritta)

Jamie’s Kitchen

Jamie Does…

Cook with Jamie

Jamie Oliver diet show wins Emmy award

jamie’s food revolution wins emmy award

Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills Launches