Wednesday, September 10, 2008

L'Antipasto, Battersea

Its location, midway between all our homes, and the fact that it offers 50% off main courses on a Thursday (among other nights) led us to select L'Antipasto for a friend's leaving meal.  She was off on a nine month trip to Australia, via Japan and China, and then later visiting New Zealand and Thailand to finish in the US.  We didn't, therefore, mind sending her off with some simple European fare.

I booked about ten days earlier as I suspected it might be busy.  I was right - the queue was out of the door when we got there.  They don't allow bookings for smaller parties - I don't know what the cut off size is but as a party of 8 we were able to reserve.  Another suspicion of mine that was also proved correct was that this is not a place for posh nosh.  This is a neighbourhood trattoria serving traditional Italian dishes at fair prices.  We began by sharing garlic bread, which came as a slim pizza base cut into around 10 slices.  We had ordered two but only one came and as it was more than enough we didn't mention it.  It was very tasty and light but if I had a complaint it would be that it was a little bit greasy.

For main courses we all stuck with firm favourites as this seemed the sort of place where that would serve you well.  My lasagne came in a white dish with no sides or salad etc.  It was very nice - nothing remarkable but the rich tomato sauce tasted fresh, the meat was flavoursome and there was a generous cheese topping.  Other choices such as the bolognese and the seafood spaghetti prompted a similar reception - good value, nothing to write home about but certainly nothing to complain about.

The portion size is generous and we couldn't force a pudding, although I was sorely tempted by a tiramisu.  The house wine was more than drinkable and we weren't rushed at all, despite the fact that it was heaving and the queue still snaked out into the rain.

Two courses and a third of a bottle of wine: £15 per head (with 50% off main courses)

Value: 8/10

Service: 7/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Food: 6/10

SCORE: 28/40

L'Antipasto, 511 Battersea Park Road, London, SW11 3BW.  Tel: 020 72239765.

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