Well this is what makes Andrea - mastermind behind the wonderful Little Italy Kitchen based right here in lovely Levenshulme, a much greater man than I. When Bailey and I dragged our sorry selves to the supperclub after realising (due to a very polite and in no way incandescent with rage tweet from Andrea) that it started at 1pm and not 7pm as we for some reason had thought (the word "OOPS" is the world's biggest understatement), he and his partner and our host for the day Derek, welcomed us in with open arms. Not only that but Andrea went back to the beginning and recooked all the courses we had missed (minus the ravioli, which Andrea and Derek had eaten - good for them!) but still kept the other three punctual guests entertained with extra little nibbles. What a guy.
First up we were presented with an Aperetivo of an elderflower cocktail and some beautiful Italian nibbles which I eventually stopped feeling sheepish enough to enjoy very much. My favourites were the chilli breadsticks and sun-dried tomato toasts.
Next Derek presented us with two different Antipasti - spicy Nduja Dough Balls for Bailey which like all delicious things disappeared in about two seconds.
My pescatarian alternative to the dough balls was the Baccalà Fritters - great big chunks of air-dried cod in a light, and crispy batter. Marvellous.
Had we not been a pair of plonkers and been on time we would have at this stage received a Primo in the form of a Pumpkin and Pine Nuts Ravioli which I was assured by the other guests was phenomenal. Andrea showed us a picture and it looked awesome, we will have to keep our fingers crossed that he puts something similar on a future menu!
The Secondo was probably the course I loved best - King Scallops with Cannellini Bean Purée, Samphire, Chilli, Honey and some additional Smoked Pancetta for the meat eaters. Everything was so carefully cooked and delicately flavoured with the star definitely being the plate-scrapingly good bean purée. Renowned bean hater and potato lover Bailey said it was "like a more delicious mashed potato".
|After arriving two hours late it would probably have been rude to lick the plate.|
Finally we were back in sync with the other guests and it was time for my favourite course in any meal - the Formaggi. Yes, that's right - CHEESE!!!! Andrea had carefully selected some of his favourite Italian cheeses, including a very pongy Taleggio which had been lovingly brought all the way back from the motherland. Not only that but we were treated to not one, not two, but THREE homemade chutnies including a candied quince that Andrea served WARM! Totally amazing cheeseboard times!
The night was now drawing in and it was time for a gorgeous Dolce course called Drunken Pear Towers. These pears were beyond drunken, they had been on a week-long bender soaking in spiced red wine and tasted incredible. They were served on top of a pile of deliciousness in the form of a frangipane cakey tart thing and loads of mascarpone before before being drizzled with chocolate. If I didn't sound like a terrible Greg Wallace I would say it was LIKE EATING A CUDDLE. A badass, Italian cuddle.
To round off the super dooper meal we had proper Italian coffees and home made nutty truffles accompanied by good chats, also known as "top bantz", with Andrea and Derek - they really are great people.