My mum will hopefully be spending more and more time in London over the next few months. This makes me so excited, as there are so many things that are perfect for a mother and daughter to do in the City, together. It also means an excuse for the girls in my family to get together more often.
On this occasion though. Mother and I decided to invite The Gentleman for dinner, and it was down to me to choose the restaurant.
It didn’t take me long to decide on Artigiano, which is right around the corner from where The Gentleman and I live. We pass it all the time with it’s front glass doors pulled right back, and tables spilling onto the street in front.
Sometimes you can hear music erupting from the back of the restaurant – Jazz, soul or more modern influences. The smells waft towards you, mingling with the music to create a true infusion for your senses.
Both of my willing companions were impressed with my choice of venue. They were even more impressed with the menu. But I’m ahead of myself. We started with wine and bruschetta.
A sweet rose for me (as always) and served in a beautiful little carafe. My mother and The Gentleman had a bottle of red between them, which surprised me as he never normally drinks red!
Soon, the conversation was flowing as well as the wine was. It’s so funny how you change as you grow up. You start to speak to your parents in a different way, have conversations that you wouldn’t have dreamed of talking about when you were younger.
It seems you meet these two people who you’ve known so well your entire life, but you get to know them all over again. My mum has a wicked sense of humour and a real naughty side to her – which I know she loves to convey when she’s around us girls. There are no longer limits to your conversations and nothing is barred.
In fact, we were so lost in our conversation that we had to ask the poor waiter to come back three times before we were ready to order.
Mum had: Tartara di Branzino marinato al Lime e Senape in Grani con Julienne di Peperoni e Cetriolo – Sea Bass Tartare marinated in grain mustard and lime, served with a julienne of fresh mixed peppers and cucumber.
The Gentleman’s: Carpaccio di Manzo Scozzese, Maionese alla Senape e Miele con Rucoletta e Parmigiano – Scotch beef carpaccio with a grain mustard and honey dressing, rocket and parmesan shavings.
And my delicious: Capesante Scottate in Salsa al Limone Piccante, Purea di Piselli e Velo di Parma Croccante – Seared scallops in a spicy Amalfi lemon sauce with a pea purée and crisp Parma ham.
The starters were just exquisite, my scallops were cooked to perfection and the pea puree was the perfect accompaniment. I can vouch for the other two dishes too, as I obviously tried them!
Our mains followed shortly after – they weren’t quite as beautiful as the starters, but tasted incredible anyway! We did forget to order sides, forgetting that true Italian food comes purely as the main, but it didn’t matter as the portions were so big anyway!
Mothers’ Main: Fegato Spadellato con Patate Dolci e Vino Rosso – Sautéed calf’s liver with a sweet potato purée and red wine jus.
My Main: Nodino di Vitello al Burro e Salvia – veal chop in a sage butter sauce
Ben’s Main: Costata di Manzo alla Griglia con Provola Affumicata, Rucola e Composta di Cipolla Rossa – Grilled rib-eye of Hereford beef with smoked provola, rocket and a red onion compote
You would have thought we’d have been full at that point. But, we still had wine in our glasses and the pudding menu really was too good to miss. You know I can resist anything but temptation!
Muma’s: Panna Cotta alla Cannella con Salsa di Fichi Secchi, Miele e Rabarbaro – Cinnamon panna cotta with a dried fig, honey and rhubarb sauce
Obviously, I went for the Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Ice Cream! So so decadent and delicious. Yeah… about that diet…
We truly had such a lovely meal, leaving with full tummies and smiles on our faces. We walked my mum back to my parents flat, to burn off some of the meal, and then walked home ourselves. Truly content.
It makes such a difference having lovely plans on a Monday. Usually, I write it off as one of those days where I know I’ll be tired and wanting to go home and watch television in my PJ’s after work.
I had such a lovely meal though. Now I know the secret to a good week; having lovely chilled plans on a Monday, with a good glass of wine and beautiful company. Thank you Muma!