Tinello – a twitter night out
I have been on Twitter for some time now and I am still loving the fact that it generates discussion, it keeps me informed on topics I like and it puts me in touch with like minded people. And it is with two of these like minded people (foodies, in this instance) that I planned a meal out at Italian eaterie in Pimlico, Tinello. The ladies in question are anglo-neapolitan @gigi_nav and pasta specialist @linguinadc
Both of them had already dined, and Linguina actually rates the restaurant as her favourite London venue. I was curious to try, especially as I am on an Italian roll having tried Zucca only last week and going to Italy soon.
I liked the venue. Outside small tables where a couple of gentlemen were drinking wine in the summer breeze, inside soft, warm light and a full room. The service was very Italian, but a little more formal than Zucca. Friendly however.
Wine list was, much like Zucca again, very heavy on North Italy and Tuscany. Not a single wine from Campania, which is actually disappointing. We chose a nice enough Fiano, listed as from Sicily (I had my doubts), and we concentrated on the menu.
We opted to share a few ‘small eats’ following some of the waiter’s recommendations, and then one pasta main each. The choice is fairly varied, but my attention focused on ‘gnudi’… as having tried and absolutely loved Stevie Parle‘s, I felt somehow compelled to try someone else’s.
The small eats arrived and here I started feeling perplexed about Tinello’s authenticity. Yes I am fussy, but the Parmigiana di melanzane was watery – sorry, chef, the real thing is intense, almost solid passata sauce solidly layered with the rest of the ingredients.
Another disappointment were the ‘Friggitelli’. Myself and Gigi_nav were very much looking forward to eating the classic southern dish – bitter, flattened small green peppers. These looked the part, but were not the real ones, and they were full of seeds too. The Burrata starter was good because of the burrata but the ‘pane e pomodoro’ was confusing. Top marks to the Octopus salad and the Zucchini fritti, which were really delicious.
The mains arrived. Gigi_Nav’s Pappardelle alle Ortiche con Ragu Bianco (Duck) did look the part. I tried them and they felt a bit too stringy, and the colour unnatural yet the ragu was quite intense and flavour rich.
Myself and Linguinadc swapped our mains so that we could appreciate both. I started with the Gnudi. They looked nothing like what I expected. They tasted nice, but to much spinach I think and not enough substance. Maybe these are the ‘real gnudi’ but The Dock Kitchen’s are another level of flavour.
The Paccheri with Burrata and Nduja were good, definitely good but the pasta was a tad overcooked (how can you overcooked the super hard textured Pastificio dei Campi?) and the Nduja was nowhere to be tasted.
In fact I did mention it to the waiter, as we felt somehow cheated.
We were too full for dessert but we did enjoy a small, delicious, creamy bigne with the bill. It came to £30 per head including tips which is very fair. We had a great time, as well.
My view on Tinello? Good food, not exceptional. Would I go back? Probably but I am not rushing to book again. For now, I am booking Zucca and the Dock Kitchen!