A Humbletart Restaraunt Critique
by Donna Holland of LittleEMedia
I am a self-confessed foodie and home cook, food blogger and Social Media Writer, fresh from the 5* overload of Dubai and ready for a more relaxed food experience.
I am always uber excited to try a new eatery of any size or description. A ‘blind date’ with the new kid on the block ‘The Taste of Italy by Pompeo’ was no exception and just what the Food Doctor ordered.
Newly opened on Lincoln’s West Parade, in an area that is fast becoming Lincoln’s own ‘Little Italy’. Bridging the gap between Uphill Lincoln and the Brayford Wharf, ‘A Taste of Italy by Pompeo” is already gaining a loyal following with many ‘sold out’ themed evenings offering fabulous taster menus and well-chosen wines to compliment. Deli by day and Bistro by night, you are in for a culinary treat!
With eclectic, bespoke, vibrant furniture the exuberant host Italian, Pompeo Siracusa only adds to the authenticity of the eating adventure to come. The Deli can only be described as a very authentic Italian venue! Buzzing with personality, enthusiasm and the passion all Italians are known for and a professional, creative will to succeed. Pompeo has the edge.
Pompeo is friendly, approachable and a skilled Front of House Master with a mindset to provide the best Italian foodie experience to you. His staff are smart and attentive. A pleasure to be around. Pompeo reaches for the stars literally in a recent experimental partnership with Chef Eamonn Hunt, Master Chef Finalist 2012. Making this dynamic team something to be reckoned with. Pompeo’s experience for all things Italian, and his business acumen and Eamonn’s obvious talent adds that extra something to this fledgling Lincoln business.
Once ensconced in the arms of the Deli you receive a warm welcoming Italian kiss, an aperitif and you are instantly relaxed and a willing participant on the food love train. Once across the threshold this venture already knocks spots off the usual humdrum attempts at Italian cuisine, which mainly consists of pizza! Part shop, colourful displays of Italian produce, olive oils and wine and part Deli by day, offering coffee and pastries and platters of deli meats and cheeses. You can happily while away the hours during a ‘drop by’ lunch. By night the Deli becomes a bistro with limited functions but watch this space. You are assured of a warm welcome.
I have to say to being fairly disappointed to hear the words “vegetarian”. What no meat? Isn’t this an Italian? Isn’t meat and Italian like peas and carrots? One glance at the menu and I knew that I would eat my words.
The wonderful Italian atmosphere was only enriched with the jolly Italian background music and chatter of all those along for the ride. Pompeo introduced his staff, the Chef and of course the menu. He was relaxed and at pains to let us know we were in no rush and to savour the food and atmosphere. The experience was interactive, his staff being well versed in the finer details of each course and happy to discuss. Pompeo himself would be the sommelier of the evening and complement the dishes with wine. The only criticism I would have is that the lighting needs some attention to aid the transformation from day to night and to add to the overall ambiance. Pompeo is on to this!
The first dish served to tempt us was a perfectly simply soulful salad of all the Italian favorites:
Panzanella with peppers, garlic, croutons, capers & mozzarella drizzled in oil. Served with Giuggiolo, a light lemony Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc grape mix from the Tuscany area.
The Second dish was delicate, sweet and buttery. This was my favorite dish, a symphony on the tongue, sumptuous and obviously required a higher degree of skill and talent.
Pasta Rotolo. Cumin & Chili squash, ricotta, spinach in light fresh pasta. The same wine was served complimenting the pasta perfectly.
The third dish was a visual mirage! I was sure I had been served a pudding out of sync? A scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream, with a deep purple coulis and golden biscuit? Er no the dish was in fact a magically cloaked imposter…
Chilled beetroot soup served with beetroot caviar and whipped goats cheese and hot grilled garlic bread! Complimented with another white wine Alcamo, 100% Cataratto grapes. I would describe this wine as a spoonful of honey and an absolute marvel. Switch this wine for a drizzle of honey on the warm garlic bread, scoop up some cheese and beetroot soup and well…heaven!
The Forth dish was enough to fill the appetite of a carnivorous carnivore with a love of homely heavy steamed steak and kidney pie…
Steamed Mushroom & Onion and Thyme Pudding served with a truffle salsa and vegetable nage. Served with a heartier Chianti Classico, Sangiovese & Canaiolo grapes. Rich and full of savory flavor taking you back to mamma’s kitchen.
The Fifth dish was a very pretty gelatin free pud, light enough not to have the waist band straining to point break!
Panna Cotta with vanilla and raspberry sauce and sable biscuit……yum
The Sixth and swansong dish was a Trio of Ice Creams. I know this dish was an absolute success as the room was lip smackinly quiet until that is the cheeky added extra of popping candy exploded into our mouths & ears resulting in uncontrolled giggles! The shame!
Rosemary & Honey, Strawberry & Sour Cream & Lemon Ice Cream served with various herby sweet biscuits.
The evening was a revelation of spectacular vegetarian dishes. I am converted and look forward to the up and coming ‘Fish’ Taster evening. I believe Pompeo and Eamonn will never disappoint and one thing I do know that is in true Italian tradition he will never rush you. Doesn’t matter if you are the only one left he will drag up a chair and pour you both a drink and further entertain you with tales from another life where the sun does in fact shine. I wish Pompeo and his team the very best of luck and I will certainly be calling round soon.