Hello my lovely readers! How are you? I am so terribly thrilled to be able to talk to you about the newest sensation that has taken London by storm! If you are wondering what I am talking about, the answer is one: Al Dente! This is a recently-opened Italian restaurant near Goodge Street that probably serves the best pasta this side of the channel! I am not kidding; only if you’ve been there, you’d know that Al Dente serves freshly-prepared pasta that instantly transports you to Italy, and its wonderful regions. I think if you have time (or the inclination), it is a crime not to visit Al Dente, as you will finding nothing wanting there!
But let me tell you how my journey to Al Dente started. It was a Sunday like no other that I read a small article in Londonist (for the 100th time, thank you guys and ladies! You don’t know how many times you’ve given me inspiration!) about this new restaurant that opened in London and that they liked it a lot, so I thought this could be a nice experience for me. So, I convinced my boyfriend (between us, he didn’t need a lot of convincing) to come with me on a lazy Saturday to see and experience what Al Dente was all about!
The first thing that comes to my mind is that Pastificio Al Dente as a place is not big. However what may be lost in terms of space is easily gained by the finest quality of products and its charming atmosphere. We were greeted by a bubbly and friendly Italian server, and were quickly seated. When we visited it was only us, another group of people opposite us and a third group that were finishing their dinner and enjoying some coffee, if I remember well. Our server took our drinks orders – my boyfriend decided on a San Pelegrino orange, while I went for a glass of prosecco (when in Rome and all that…) – and later came for our food orders.
I will not comment much on our drinks, but I will say that they were properly chilled and our glasses were squeaky clean. The most impressive thing was that the glass for my boyfriend’s orange drink could be found in a little drawer, below the place setting. In there you can also find cutlery and napkins, so hats off just for this! We were also quite hungry, so we ordered a bruschetta al pomodoro as a starter and as main spaghettoni alla carbonara (my boyfriend) and linguine seafood (for me), while listening to Italian music.
The second thing that comes to mind when talking about Pastificio Al Dente is that all pasta dishes are prepared right in front of you, as the kitchen is opposite the dining room. You can see the pasta, sauces and how they are prepared, while everything is kept at a maximum level of cleanliness, which I find extraordinary important. But talking about cleanliness somehow overlooks the quality of the dishes as such. Let me tell you, they were out of this world! From the tomatoes to my seafood and my boyfriend’s carbonara sauce (which he said was proper Italian and really authentic), everything was super tasty! My seafood literally smelled like the sea, while the carbonara had a unique egg taste that is so difficult to find! Without a doubt, Pastificio Al Dente probably serves the most authentic pasta in London!
As you can imagine I was heavily impressed by Al Dente and had to learn everything about it, so I contacted the team behind it and asked a few questions. So, I can tell you Al Dente was born from the passion of a young Roman entrepreneur, Filippo Gallenzi, who’s ambition was to make handmade fresh pasta available for all. With traditional recipes sourced from Italy’s best regions and cooked at the right cottura al dente, diners can eat their signature Italian dishes or prepare them at home themselves. Roman founder Filippo has dreamt of opening a pastificio in London for a long time: “I grew up fascinated by pastifici in Rome which offered great quality pasta at affordable prices. They provided fast takeaway lunches in the heart of the capital city. When I arrived to London I wanted to recreate that here too, and Fitzrovia seemed the best place to open our first store”.
At this point, I would like to say that I want to visit Al Dente again in the near future (to my shame, I didn’t try the cannolo!)! The food was mouth-watering, our server was incredibly polite and friendly, the place was spotless and relaxed and we ended up paying just over £30! What’s not to love then? You can also buy fresh pasta from Al Dente or get a takeaway! I find us truly lucky that there is such a restaurant in London that can tantalise our taste buds and exceed our expectations so much! There are truly no words to properly describe my food experience to you, so I will only say that you are seriously missing out if you haven’t visited before!
I would like to thank the team behind Al Dente, for providing me the visual material for this blog post, as without them it wouldn’t be the same! So, big thanks to everyone and Rosie especially!
Till next time,