When it comes to my ‘food buddies’ we usually stick to specific meals. Hannah is my café buddy, and this usually means we catch up for lunch, Roxy is usually breakfast, and Rhi is dinners. When it comes to desserts, I share them around. Last night it was time for me and Rhi to catch up, we don’t work together anymore, so these dinners are usually our big gossip sessions. Our place our choice, Andre’s Cucina & Polenta Bar. As soon as we found out this was opening we had it on our sights, the word polenta was enough to get us there, but unfortunately it took us forever to actually book a night.
Last night was that night, and it was worth the wait.
Pork Belly, Polenta Con Spinaci e Gorgonzola Dolc, & Crostini di Pate Misti
Everything is shared at Andre’s. I suppose it doesn’t have to be, but that is one of the things that makes the meal. We started with the Capesante (not pictured), half shell scallops crusted with breadcrumbs. Then picked a main, a cucina, and a polenta to share between the two of us. The dishes were brought out one at a time, except the main and the polenta which are designed to be eaten together. We never had a moment where we were sitting, waiting for food, and we never had to worry about our food getting cold as we tucked into another dish.
The pork belly had a little too much meat on it, in my opinion, I would have preferred a much larger ‘fat’ ratio. They were generous sized pieces, and it had a good flavour. The polenta was smooth and creamy, it had wilted spinach and gorgonzola cheese. The gorgonzola gave it a strong aroma, but the flavour was very subtle, which we both loved. We both picked the crostini straight away off of the cucina menu, a platter of toasted breads with Italian patè. Our favourite was probably the basil pesto, it had such a strong flavour. There was also peperoncini, artichoke, and canellini bean and truffle patè.
Dessert menu, Polenta Gelato, & Bomboloni
We were feeling pretty full after dinner, but we still knew we wanted to try dessert. Once again we decided to share, rather than pick one each. The whole menu was tempting; a coconut, pineapple, and mint panna cotta, or a delicious chocolate fondant, in the end the two we chose were ones that we felt we’d be less likely to find at another restaurant. The Polenta Gelato was amazing, not only did it come in two individual portions, so that we both had one, but it was beautifully presented, had a great mix of textures, and a lovely sweet taste. It was topped with fairy floss and a pretty little flower, and had a pistachio praline, that gave it a nice crunch.
The bomboloni were small banana filled doughnuts, with a chocolate sauce in the centre. There was a sort of vanilla bean cream to dip them in, and it was all very delicious.
The staff were friendly, and attentive, and made us feel completely at home. We were very impressed with the whole experience. The only downside is they don’t have their own toilets, and instead you have to go through the lobby of the hotel next door. It just broke the atmosphere a little bit, but other than that we loved everything.
I don’t rate lovers, and I don’t rate restaurants, but know that this is somewhere we hope to get back to soon.
To keep things interesting, the mains menu changes every night, so you can always hope to find something different.