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Sunday, 6 July 2014

Ted goes all Italian


I have an Italian friend who shall remain nameless (Stefano), who like most Italians has a deep and abiding love of food and wine.  Visiting Stefano in Italy is a joy. Usually our first stop is a new cantina that he has found tucked away somewhere in Tuscany or Umbria.  We taste wines with the winemakers, often several generations of them in the same family. The Doll and I have experienced just how wonderful Italian food can be in his company. From restaurants with many awards, to local trattorias, to tiny places serving cucina povera (peasant cuisine) to the stunning barbecues he serves on his terrace overlooking fields and vineyards. When I am there I often feel like the lucky person in the photos of the glossy travel magazine that you envy, as you read it in the gloom of winter.

Imagine my delight then when I discovered Paesan, a cucina povera restaurant right here in London. Their approach in a nutshell is “simple, honest, real food made from what you've got, using creativity, love and imagination, all inspired by the countryside and city streets of Italy”.  We were greeted by our charming Italian hostess who explained the dishes with such clear pride, infectious joy, and delight, that I wanted to eat the whole menu.  I probably would of too if the Doll hadn't reigned me in after I had ordered my fourth starter.


The food delivers exactly what it promises.  It’s simple, fresh, bursting with flavours and is ridiculously cheap.  The wine list also does a good job of providing great value, and with a reasonable selection available by the glass you can choose a wine to match each of your (many Ted) courses.

Our hostess, I say hostess rather than waitress, as that is exactly what she was and did – she didn’t just wait on us, she hosted us, and made us feel like we were in her own very large kitchen. I asked her name, expecting her to reply something very Italian like Gina, or Maria, or Rosa. She looked at me and smiled widely and said “Deborah”.  “Really?” I said “that’s not a very Italian name, how come?” “The Mama, she was crazy for the movie stars”.

Happy birthday on Monday Paesan – 1 year old already... and keep on cooking the Mama's recipes.

8 comments:

Sharon Anck said...

Oh my, that food looks so wonderful and your description has my mouth watering. What a delightful place you have described so well.

Babzy said...

an adress to remenber :)

Luis Gomez said...

Wonderful!

Gunn said...

A very nice and interesting posting.

William Kendall said...

Italian cuisine is always welcome!

Jack said...

This is exactly the kind of place that I love! Why don't we have a CDP bloggers dinner (ahem, meeting) there? Or, with Stefano in Tuscany or Umbria?

Massimo said...

this sounds very familiar :-)

have a good week
saluti da "Italian view"

Anonymous said...

I was not expecting this article and I am speechless. "Ted" GRAZIE to the beautiful description you gave and I hope to see you soon. Baci Debora

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