The Italian Club
Tracing their roots back to the mountain village of Picinisco, high in the Apennines below Rome, and Puglia in the far south east, restaurateur Rosaria Crolla and chef-patron husband Maurizio Pellegrini really have a passion for Italian cuisine, with three outlets in the city centre.
Everything on the menu at this 2007-established trattoria is made from scratch, so don’t expect fast food, they warn – what you will get are authentic dishes prepared with love, skills passed down through families, and the freshest and finest ingredients available. From interesting stuzzichini nibbles, The Italian Club Bakery breads and antipasti to wholesome secondi mains, pasta and pizza, produce from the mother country includes Parma ham and spicy Calabrian salame, wild mushrooms and black truffle. Named after the Crolla family’s hometown, the Piciniscana pizza is topped with tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, Italian sausage, friarielli broccoli and fresh chilli; there’s also a selection of bianca bases, without tomatoes. Pasta includes oven-baked classics like cannelloni and lasagne, filled ravioli and tortellini, old favourites such as spaghetti carbonara, and potato gnocchi. Gluten-free options include branzino al forno – roasted seabass with capers, black olives, cherry tomatoes, white wine and garlic oil served with roasted new potatoes – and steak frites with peppercorn sauce. For other mains, think breadcrumbed chicken Milanese or Salsicce Di Maurizio – chef Maurizio’s grilled homemade Italian pork sausages, served with roast new potatoes and peperonata. There’s also a vegan selection and a set menu for the bambini, and don’t forget to ask about the daily specials that reflect the best of the season.
For dolce, pastry chef Alberto is in charge of the day’s cake selection, or there’s a boozy amaretto affogato or an oozy tiramisu, gelato or sorbet, the latter suitable for plant-based diets.
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