25th April 2013
So my new job of restaurant critic continues (I'm really enjoying it by the way).
Myself and Katie McClements went to the Tavistock Italia, which is a lovely restaurant part of the Roker Hotel. On arrival we were met by the manager Federicco who showed us to our table and he went through the menu with us pointing out his favourites which included their slow cooked dishes, which are slow cooked for 24 hours, you don't have to wait 24 hours they are already done!! We were also treated to some complementary foccacia which was done in a real Italian style...it was gorgeous, really doughy which was different and topped the chopped tomato and onion with parmesan shavings.
After looking through the menu and struggling to pick what we were going to get, because there were so many that I wanted to try, I settled on a starter of strips of beef with garlic sauce topped with rocket and parmesan shavings (£5.95) and Katie had Calamari Fritti, battred in salt and pepper with a spicy tomato sauce (£5.95). My beef was cooked to perfection with a sauce which wasn't too over powering and the rocket salad really complimented it.
Moving onto our main course I had pasta, I always like to get pasta in a proper Italian restaurant, I went for Tagliatelle con Salsicce (£9.45), which was pasta with boar sausage, chirizo sausage and roasted garlic in a tomato sauce. Katie had Spliendi di Pesce (£14.95), King prawns and king scallop skewer with grilled peppers and red onion on a bed of tomato and basil salsa. I did attempt to say the name of the dish, but failed miserably. The pasta was cooked perfectly and it was nice to have the two types of sausage mixed through it, and the boar sausage did seem more meaty than normal sausage, it was really good.
I was stuffed after my meal and really wanted a dessert after looking through the menu but decided I wouldn't finish one, Katie couldn't resist, but I think didn't want to eat alone so asked for her dessert to be take away, which they were more than happy to do. Katie got a traditional Tiramisu which was thick cream with coffe and sponge at the bottom.
The Tavistock Italia is a great little place, it has quirky decoration with a mish mash of lamp shades and pictures and feels very homely. There are various 'knick knacks' around the restaurant but it still manages to be stylish which I think is a very clever touch. The menu is very impressive and they have various offers on at different times during the week which makes it very affordable for the quality of food on offer. I think the fact that the manager is italian and passionate about the food really comes through too.
Posted by Mark at 3:35pm