Venerdi, Chatsworth Road, review: Popular Italian has all grown up

The new-look Venerdi in Chatsworth Road.

The new-look Venerdi in Chatsworth Road. - Credit: Archant

Once a humble homespun Italian, Venerdi has had a makeover and boy does it look good.

The pizza more than lives up to expectations,

The pizza more than lives up to expectations, - Credit: Archant

The huge car stuck to the wall has vanished and the new more grown-up interior has made the restaurant virtually unrecognisable - my boyfriend didn’t even realise that we’d visited previously.

Happily, the neighbourhood favourite’s laid back vibe and friendly staff haven’t gone anywhere and the food continues to take top billing.

There’s plenty of choice and even picking the wine - a crisp Castel Firmian Pinot Grigio which was definitely a winner - took us a moment.

After more deliberation I chose the zucchine ripiene to start - layers of rolled courgette filled with goats cheese served with home made pesto and topped with sundried tomato dressing - while my boyfriend opted for the scallops served with spicy sausage and crushed peas.

The restaurant has recently undergone a renovation.

The restaurant has recently undergone a renovation. - Credit: Archant

Both were presented impeccably, to the extent that we couldn’t resist taking a quick picture before tucking in. The courgette was cooked just to my liking, with a bit of bite, and the different flavours gelled perfectly. I couldn’t resist trying the scallops too and they didn’t disappoint - both fresh and meaty.

For main I chose the tagliatelle wild boar which was packed with celery, carrots, onions and a hefty swig of red wine along with the rich tomato sauce - a great hearty choice for a cold evening particularly thanks to the generous portion size.

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My boyfriend opted for the Capricciosa pizza, with our waiter more than happy to substitute the mushrooms for ham along with the regular toppings of tomato, mozzarella, olives, artichokes and capers. Once again, it more than lived up to our expectations.

Though the dessert menu is less expansive than the other courses, our favourites - banoffee pie and cheesecake - were there. Both were delicious despite being presented with the same fruit coulis garnish. I felt this confusing touch was an unnecessary addition to an otherwise divine banoffee pie.

Judging from the almost full restaurant on an unremarkable Thursday night, word about Venerdi has already got out. It’s well deserved in my book - I’ll definitely be back.

Venerdi, 9 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LH London. 020 8986 1119

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