Archive for February, 2006

Scalini
Friday, February 3rd, 2006

Scalini’s traditional, classy Italian dining attracts a constant stream of enthusiastic patrons here for the combination of enchanting atmosphere and satisfying, filling dishes.

The low ceilings, mirrored walls, and well-placed dividers grant a disorienting depth to the rooms, blurring the distinction between real tables and their reflections. The number of smokers could be off-putting to some, but decent ventilation ensures it never feels smokey, just comfortable and relaxed.

Scalini: Insalata Di Mare

Within a varied Italian menu, here are a few suggestions:

Insalata Di Mare – An absolutely immense portion of squid, octopus, shrimp, mussels, and clams. The squid in particular has a marvelous meaty texture I’ve never encountered with this frequently rubbery ingredient. A garnish of marinated pink peppercorns adds a spicy counterpart to the shellfish and lemon flavors.

Spinach, Cheese & Tortellini Soup – Reminding me immediately of an Italian answer to wonton soup, this chicken soup is a perfect starter for a winter night’s meal. This soup is also the single dish drawing an immediate “this is just like my grandmother would make” comment from my partner.

Veal Escalope – These hollow ovoids of veal stuffed with mozzarella and mushroom are served in a rich tomato and mushroom sauce. Tonight, they come with a side of shockingly fluffy yet moist baby potatoes, baked cauliflower, and green beans.

Scalini: Veal Escalope

Splitting a piece of creamy tiramisu for dessert tops off an excellent, filling meal. An average if overly bitter espresso makes me wish I had requested a drink with milk instead, although this does nothing to diminish the pleased, extremely full feeling in my belly.

Unsurprisingly, the half bottle of wine we imbibe makes up a reasonably large portion of the bill. A very nice bottle of chianti, full-bodied without the overly tannic flavor of cheap reds, it complements the meal nicely, but in the future, could easily be passed over in favor of paying more attention to the food, whose portions are daunting enough without filling up on wine as well.

Reservations are highly recommended, but, at least on a Sunday, can safely be made earlier in the same night.

Scalini
1-3 Walton St
London, SW32JD
+44.020.7225.2301

Goat Cheese, Broccoli, Cauliflower Pasta
Friday, February 3rd, 2006

The smooth texture of the partially-melted goat cheese complements the chewiness of the pasta and the crunch of the broccoli, and imparts a creamy yet slightly tangy flavor.

  • 1/3 package farfalle
  • 1 small broccoli head
  • 1 small cauliflower head
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2″ diameter goat cheese round
  • 1 tsp butter
  • salt, pepper
  1. Boil water, cook and drain pasta.
  2. Sweat chopped garlic in butter in a small skillet over low heat, adding salt to release liquids.
  3. Wash & chop broccoli & cauliflower.
  4. Add vegetables to skillet along with 1/2 cup or so water; allow to steam/boil until mostly evaporated. Turn off heat.
  5. Mix pasta in with vegetables.
  6. Cut goat cheese into small pieces, mix into pasta.
  7. Return skillet to stove over medium heat to help partially melt the cheese. Stir to mix well and distribute the heat, about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Serve, season with cracked pepper before eating.