And so it was that following a rather boozy Maundy Thursday session in Bianco43 one intrepid Radical found himself, complete with a brace of parents, spending Easter Saturday in Tziganos (@Tziganos). Yes, it’s a hard life but someone has to do it. And then write about it.
First thing to say: the atmosphere in Tziganos is fantastic. Salvo and Peppe, the owners, set the tone both on paper (see the menu) and in the restaurant itself. And for once the hype and the reality matched up to each other.
We started with the vegetarian antipasti (a selection of cheese, aubergine, peppers, deep-fried courgettes, salad and bread) which was ample for three and delicious with it. In fact we might have stopped there and been quite satisfied but manfully carried on. Talking of manful, the glasses for the white wine were, to say the least, large…
The pacing between courses was spot-on with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the company without getting peckish (or bored – quite easy when parents are involved). Your Radical went for the risoto di carne which was as creamy and unctuous as you could hope and there was plenty of it (a good thing given the level of food snatching going on). Papa went for the wild boar ragu (pappardelle al cingbiale) and Mama for the sea-bass. The latter, especially, was a real hit.
Each of the dishes was fresh, generous and – importantly – authentic. Fond memories of Sicily and Naples were brought to mind and that’s no mean achievement. And, like the best restaurants in those places, it’s now possible to head next door and buy some of the ingredients. Perfecto!
Now, not wishing to end on a sour note, but there was one disappointing part of the evening. Unbeknown to us we happened to be at Tziganos for something of a ‘village moment’ – the raffling of its (the village’s) largest easter egg. A whopper of an egg in anyone’s books. Which we didn’t win. Grrr. The winner wasn’t there to collect his prize, but seemed rather happy with himself when he did. Eggstatic even?