About a month ago the lovely people over at Zomato invited me to a #ZomatoMeetUp at Gatti’s, an Italian restaurant in the City. These events are basically lots of foodies coming together to try good food and wine at interesting and sometimes new (like this one was to me!) locations across town. Obviously I wasn’t going to say no, because that just sounds like heaven!
This was my first meet up and I can honestly say I had a fab time. If you can’t be bothered to read the whole post, take this away: Gatti’s is great. The food is awesome and the staff are lovely and obviously passionate about serving honest, traditional Italian food. If you want more, read on (and get ready to salivate at all the amazing food…!)
Gatti’s have two locations, one in Broadgate and one at CityPoint, near Moorgate. We went to the CityPoint branch, which is in an area I’m not particularly familiar with, and certainly didn’t help in finding it… the restaurant is a bit hidden away in one corner of the plaza, so I can imagine it doesn’t get much passing trade.
When I arrived I was served a lovely glass of Veuve Clicquot and started to get to know my fellow bloggers and the staff at Zomato over some canapés: smoked salmon, mascarpone and chives or lobster and avocado mousse blinis. I’m not a fan of seafood generally so didn’t try the lobster, but the smoked salmon was delicious!
The main restaurant is downstairs and it really was a surprise to see just how big it is considering the upstairs is so small – it’s essentially a bar area with space for just a few tables. Downstairs is the opposite with lots of well-spaced tables, mixed with booths for a more intimate feel. Red leather and white tablecloths mean it looks crisp but still welcoming and homely.
Apparently the plural of bruschetta is bruschette, and that’s what made up our first course: various toppings including cured ham and artichoke; porcini mushrooms in a herb and garlic butter; and roasted cherry tomatoes with basil.
My favourite was by far the ham & artichoke, though the mushrooms – which I’m not normally a big fan of – came a close second as they were cooked perfectly and had just enough garlic.
The next course was ‘rigatoni al pomodoro di Campagna’, otherwise known as rigatoni pasta in a tomato sauce with basil. My first thought was, if it’s that simple, it has got to be good. My other thought was, YES! because I love rigatoni. This really was delicious. Literally so simple but possibly one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had, even better than some in Rome. The pasta was al dente and the ingredients fresh – just perfect.
Next came the fish course, a whole sea bass which had been baked in a sea salt crust.
This was a real sight to behold as they cut it out, filleted and served it to us along with parsley sauce and a crisp pickled salad with orange.
The fish had taken on some of the flavour of the salt, which was fine for me but might be a little much for some, though I think the parsley sauce helped to cut through it.
Next came a lemon and prosecco sorbet which was a lovely palette cleanser. Not very easy to photograph though..
The main course can only be described as immense, both in size and quality. Just look at that hunk of beef!
The beef was carved up and served with seasonal vegetables, roast potatoes and strangely, Yorkshire puddings. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but it was a bit of a surprise! They were fluffy yet still crispy on the outside.
The beef was a star. I’m not a massive fan of beef if I’m honest, but this was delicious. It was more pink than I would have chosen but it was fine – no blood actually coming out!! – and the flavour was rich. Roast potatoes are quite one of the best bits about a roast in my opinion (a long time love stemming from not liking many meats when I was younger) and these were DELICIOUS. Fluffy potatoes, crispy round the edges, and flavoured with rosemary – one of my favourite ways to have roasties!
I was honestly stuffed by this point and then we remembered there were desserts coming…! And not just any desserts, a selection each – ‘Dolce dello Chef’. These included home-made tiramisu, panna cotta with winter berries, profiteroles and cheesecake.
I’ve started to realise I am more of a savoury person these days, so will happily choose a starter over a dessert, but these all looked so delicious, and the small bites of each that I managed to fit in didn’t disappoint. Personally my favourite was the panna cotta which was light and creamy, and second was probably the tiramisu. I found the cheesecake a little heavy, and to be honest the profiterole was just a profiterole. All in all though it was great to try different things and perhaps I might actually order a panna cotta next time I go for a dessert!
I should also mention that the first few courses were paired with an Italian wine – white for the starter and fish course and red for the main. Both choices complimented the food perfectly; these guys certainly know their wines!
They also gave us a sweet little bag of homemade truffles to take away, which I gave to my husband.. wish I’d eaten them myself though as going by everything else I’m sure they were tasty.
I had a fantastic night with Zomato and the other bloggers at Gatti’s. The staff are so friendly and happy to talk about the history of the restaurants and the philosophy behind them. They are very passionate about the food they serve and it comes through so well.
If I’m ever in the area of either restaurant, I’d happily visit for some more traditional, home-made Italian food. The prices are fairly average in my opinion for the City and considering the food is so good, really it’s a small price to pay. Highly recommended.