Sunday, 13 January 2013

Get yourself down to your local!

Personal touches go along way in my books when it comes to serving your customers. Dining out isn't just about the food, it's about the experience. This is more often than not lost when it comes to many of the big restaurant chains, which is why it is always great to try out your local restaurants.

Having recently moved to another area of South London, there was one little place which clearly stood out: Bar Lenuccia. Set on the corner of Camberwell New road and Vassall road in an old pub, this pizzeria seemed a little out of place among the kebab shops and builder's cafes, yet it seemed friendly and inviting and a shame not to try it out given it was just around the corner!

So for my housemates birthday and 14 tummies needing to be fed with no where booked, it was decided that we would give our local a try. When we arrived they had clearly made an effort and put up balloons and banners around our table. A simple and welcoming touch which was even more appreciated given that we had only booked earlier that day - the birthday girl was very pleased!

The restaurant walls were filled with wooden musical instruments and local artists' work, quirky and interesting surroundings which one of my friends called it Ramsey's worst nightmare. I think this made  for an interesting setting and far better than the odd picture here and there. An added bonus which Bar Lenuccia offers is a ballroom at the rear with comedy acts, theatre and dance classes throughout the week, which if you eat in you are able to join in for free! 

Having worked in a restaurant for many years, there's nothing more intimidating than a large group of mouths to feed. However the lady that served us did so without panic and made her way down the table taking our orders, and names, so that not only would they know who took the orders, but also saving hassle when it came to billing at the end - even if she did take my name down as Ealy?!

The menu offered a vast array of pizza and pasta dishes as well as a few meat dishes, however no one does pizza and pasta quite like the Italians, so they were definitely on the cards! My choice (after much deliberation) was Tagliatelle al Pistacchio: freshly made gorgeous pieces of tagliatelle, served in a creamy sauce with smoked lardons and laced with crumbled pieces of pistachio. This according to the manager was new to the menu, and I hope it stays as I have to say this was one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had. True I am a big fan of Zizi's Pollo Picante, but the surroundings and service made for a far greater experience!

Service was swift, although a few dishes were slightly delayed, but the waitress was very apologetic and we were all in good spirits, so all in all there was very little to fault. Even to the end personal touches were being added, with a birthday Tiramisu complete with candle and a pre-recorded birthday song, was very much a welcomed touch!

Bar Lenuccia, expect to see me more often!