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Villa Romana

Restaurant - Italian

Recently given a spruce-up in keeping with its Wood Street location, this authentic, family-run Italian has been in the Ropewalks since 1993, dishing up traditional home cooking-style grilled and pan-fried meat and fish dishes, freshly made pasta and hand-stretched Neapolitan pizza.

In true Italian style, the kitchen uses only the finest and freshest fayre, sourced locally and with specialist ingredients imported by expert Italian vendors. Speciality breads are mentioned, and the antipasti section includes formaggio di capra impanato – individual goat’s cheese coated in breadcrumbs, Parmesan and hazelnuts then deep fried and served with pear poached in red wine and rocket leaves. Another real taste of the Med comes courtesy oven-roasted sea bass fillets with peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, basil and white wine, and there are a number of steaks to choose from, including lombatina Diana (sirloin coated in French mustard then flambéed with brandy in a shallot, mushrooms and cream sauce) and tournados Rossini (bacon-wrapped fillet on a crouton topped with pâté in a Madeira sauce). Popular Italian mains also listed under “carne” include scaloppine di vitello saltimbocca (medallions of veal with sage and Parma ham in a lemon and butter sauce), chargrilled lamb cutlets marinated in garlic, mint and lemon, and various chicken dishes, including classic Milanese style: pan-fried golden in breadcrumbs and served with spaghetti. Pasta includes vegetarian options such as tagliatelle in a creamy wild mushroom sauce, and oven-baked ricotta and spinach-stuffed tortelloni, while other “al forno” dishes include canneloni and other filled pastas include panciotti – large ravioli parcels with prawns and scallops in a creamy lobster sauce. Pizza wise, and the house is meat-heavy with Parma ham, salami, coppa, mortadella and pepperoni, while the rustica is the opposite: fresh tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines, topped with rocket leaves.

Sweet treats are in the form of gelato or your choice from the carrozza dei dolci (sweet trolley). The wine list is mostly Italian, as it should be, with several house choices by the glass as well as bottle.

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