With it’s pretty canal side location, Gambero Rosso makes the ideal destination for date night.
The dining room is huge, but the stylish decor means that if you are lucky enough to get a booth table, it feels like an intimate setting.
So apologies to the couple in the booth beside us last Friday, who had their date night interrupted by a nosey and very loud toddler.
My husband and I took our tiny tearaway – the one who is fast using out our phrases of ‘stop that’, ‘the dog doesn’t like being picked up by the ears’ and ‘that will be expensive to fix’ – to the Italian restaurant and pizzeria in Burnbank Road.
The staff welcomed us as we came through the door, always a good start, I can’t stand places that don’t make the effort to say hello when you enter and our friendly waiter was straight over with menus and to tell us the specials.
He also took Harrison’s order immediately so his food was out by the time our drinks arrived. Why don’t more places do this? All toddlers take forever to eat and get restless, so his food coming out provided respite.
I went for the bruchetta to start, which was one of the best bruchettas I’ve ever sampled. Crusty ciabatta loaded with fresh ripe tomatoes and just enough garlic not to over power. Andy had the antipasto Italiano, a platter with assorted cured meats including parma ham and salami.
Seafood is a speciality at Gambero Rosso and the daily menu featured scallops, monkfish and seabream when we visited last week.
Andy opted for the seabream, lightly grilled in oil and served with summer vegetables while I stayed on the menu with the calamari.
Both mains were fantastic and large portions.
The calamari was lightly coated in breadcrumbs, fried perfectly to be neither too soft nor rubbery and presented with a well suited creamy garlic dip.
Andy’s seabream was two large fillets of fish with minimal dressing to highlight the freshness and he said it was one of the nicest seafood dishes he’d had locally.
By the time we had finished our mains, Harrison had finally devoured most of his spaghetti bolognese and owner Antonio brought over his ice cream from the Italian gelato freezer in the corner of the room.
We were far too stuffed to contemplate dessert and instead finished our red wine as the dining room started to get busy with large groups.
The service was impeccable, relaxed and friendly but the waiters really know the menu and specials. Everyone made a fuss of Harrison and the open kitchen adds to the atmosphere.
Gambero Rosso is a lovely place to enjoy a meal and the outdoor seating area right on the canal is the perfect spot to spend a summers night enjoying Italian wine with bread and olives. If it would just stop raining long enough, you could pretend you were in Venice, not Bankside.
1 Burnbank Rd,