***this restaurant has since closed down***
I do not normally go to italian restaurants in London, and occasionally, I even succumb to the type of italian restaurant that I should not, ever, eat at, such as Isolabella in Holborn.
Nothing that bad, but with a menu that reads like a 1980s touristy version on some classics such as Carbonara (with cream, eeeew), it’s not somewhere I should be spending my money.
So with some trepidation we left friends’ drinks to get to our 20.30 table, booked months in advance, at Zucca, on gastro road Bermondsey Street.
Not very big, with busy staff running around, white decor and glass walls looking out onto the street is a welcoming, if not particularly striking, ambient. It gets quite dark once the sun is out, hence the poor photos.
We found the service super speedy, but expert and friendly and properly Italian.
We chose the wine with the sommelier, who, southerner like me, lamented the lack of central and southern wines on the otherwise very attractive all Italian wine list. We enjoyed a Grechetto from Umbria, which at £26 was not that cheap, but yet amongst the cheaper wines on the actual list. It was really good, fresh and fruity but not too light either. Very enjoyable.
The menu could possibly do with a bit more choice on the mains, particularly the pastas. We loved the bread selection (which the restaurant does not charge for), and the onion and potato frittata slices nibbles.
We soon got to enjoy our starters, mixed cold cuts for husband (way way way better than Hix, and not on the taste aspect alone); I tried the Zucca fritti, which was good but possibly better to share than as a stand alone starter, as it gets a bit repetitive after a couple of bites. The zucca slices were full of flavour if a touch greasy. The mains were where Zucca really shines for me. My pappardelle with veal ragu and fresh ricotta were incredibly good. The fresh pasta cooked to perfection (al dente), the ragu reminding me of something I would eat back home, with the cool, creamy ricotta a perfect complement. Loved it.
Off the menu, my other half ordered the special: agnolotti with lamb and spinach in a cream sauce. I tried them and they were fantastic, the flavours strong but the texture light.
We did not order dessert, being quite full, and I almost regret now, however I have already booked another dinner at Zucca soon , and I am looking forward to going back!