Match of the week
Bardolino Chiaretto and seafood pasta
Yesterday I had lunch with some old friends in a chic little Italian restaurant called Trenta. It’s in in the upwardly mobile neighbourhood just west of Edgware Road in London into which Tony and Cherie Blair have just moved. (It also has a Jimmy Choo shop two doors down. It’s that kind of ‘hood)
The food, well reviewed, didn’t disappoint and the highlight for me was a dish called fregola sarda ai frutti di mare - a light dish of prawns (shrimp) and other seafood cooked in a fresh tomato sauce with a curious small round pasta rather like outsize couscous grains. It looked very pretty especially with the bottle of rosato we were drinking - an inexpensive Bardolino Chiaretto 2006 - with a fresh crisp acidity that in some ways made it behave more like a white than a rosé.
Bardolino Chiaretto is one of those Italian wines that has improved hugely in quality over recent years. It used to be, frankly, quite wimpy but this was charming, full of wild strawberry fruit and a perfect foil for the delicate seafood. This isn’t the first time I’ve discovered dry rosé goes well with prawns. I suspect it’s partly a colour thing. The colour of the seafood prompts you to think of a pink wine.
It also went particularly well with two of other other dishes we chose - a dish of sauted baby artichokes, new potatoes and melted goats’ cheese and buffalo mozzarella with grilled vegetables.
Trenta is at 30 Connaught Street, London W2 2AF. Tel: 0207 262 9623. There’s a set lunch at a very reasonable £14.50 for two courses which for this posh part of London is great value.
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