London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cantina del Ponte

Tower Bridge

Cantina del Ponte is well-known for two things; it's beautiful location on the bank of the River Thames, overlooking some of London's most famous landmarks; and serving good quality, hearty, Italian food. The restaurant is now launching a new La Dolce Vita menu for parties of ten or more people, so of course, we had to check it out.

Sea bass baked in sea salt
The new menu comes in at £35 a head and includes three courses, half a bottle of house wine and tea or coffee at the end, which combined with the exquisite views of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, is well worth a trip.

La Dolce Vita is very different from the restaurant's regular menu, something which is unusual for a lot of restaurants, and actually makes for a refreshing change. The starter options include a choice of a cereal soup, warm goat’s cheese with chilli jam and homemade focaccia, or a beef carpaccio with rocket and parmesan. The beef was very tender and the thin slices almost melted in your mouth, while the goat’s cheese complimented the bread and jam very nicely. The soup was a pleasant surprise, and not what you would expect from an Italian minestrone-type soup. Very tasty!

The main course offers a selection of a tuna pasta dish, a tortelloni filled with ricotta and spinach and covered in an absolutely delicious butter and sage sauce, or a breaded chicken breast; a bit like an Italian-style schnitzel. The butter sauce was so good we found ourselves dipping other things in it too, though the chicken breast was a little plain and was the least attractive of the three available.

Finally, for dessert, you can select from a tiramisu, a yoghurt cake (unusual and definitely well worth a try!), a mixture of several ice creams and sorbets, of which the lemon sorbet and vanilla ice cream stood out as particularly delicious, and the cheese of the day.

All things considered, the menu at Cantina del Ponte is definitely good value, and combined with the surroundings, we'd certainly recommend paying a visit.

36C Shad Thames, SE1 2YE

Average price for main course: £15
Average price for a glass of wine: £5.50
Food and drink: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Value: 3/5

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