Neil Perry’s newest restaurant at the Crown Complex is one of the most beautiful spaces I have ever seen. Theatrically opulent, the dining room is strikingly fitted with multi-tiered chandeliers hanging from high-domed ceilings, marble floors, and mahogany parquetry walls, with seating in the form of velvet banquettes and oversized, high-backed armchairs. On this gorgeous sunny afternoon, however, J and I opted to sit in the alfresco dining area; just as extravagant with it’s cushioned white chairs at marble-topped tables and airy but private, courtesy of a wall of greenery that shields the terrace from the promenade.
A waiter in a crisp, white jacket brought us sourdough and grissini with Sicilian olive oil to start our meal.
The extensive pasta menu caught our attention; over sixteen different pastas are hand-made daily by two dedicated chefs. For J, pappardelle; broad, flat pasta noodles with a rich, punchy ragu bolognese.
I had the garganelli; ridged pasta squares, perfect for catching the intense, earthy, tomato and chili sauce, with briny, shaved bottarga and perfectly cooked squid.
Pasta is cooked, not al dente, but filo di ferro or ‘string of iron’ – the centre barely cooked through. I definitely prefer a slightly longer cooking time but Mei would absolutely love this.
On the side, a pomodori salad; fresh, sweet tomatoes with olives and basil.
Dessert was gelati for J. Cioccolato and pistachio were both beautifully creamy and intense, served in a chilled metal cup, topped with a crispy tuile.
The cioccolato torrone rates highly on my list of favourite desserts. Definitely one for sweet-lovers, it comprises a cylinder of chocolate and peanut semifreddo, rolled in roasted coconut and served in a pool of creamy custard.
Unsurprisingly, a meal at Rosetta comes with a hefty price tag. I would like to try some dishes from the wood-fired oven and char-grill, but am in two minds; the food was tasty but a bit overpriced in its simplicity. Maybe a special occasion will come up to warrant a re-visit. However, I am entertaining the thought of going just for the torrone one evening….