Friuliamo

Friuli01

Brixton Station Road

website: www.friuliamo.com

phone 079 4911 0691

mail alessandra@friuliamo.com

Brixton Station road is slowly becoming another food court. There’s a stall or two most days but there’s the widest choice during the day on Fridays and Saturdays. You can never tell what will be there as they move around. So when we were out shopping and fancied something different we came upon this pitch towards the Brixton Road end with an Italian offering.

The website describes what is served as “Friulian Street Food” with the strapline is “For the love of polenta and frico”.  The chef is Italian from Friuli, which is in the north east where polenta is the staple. Italian food is usually heavy with cheese or with meat with lots of soft pasta or all on a pizza, so it is a revelation that you can have vegetarian,  vegan and gluten free – sometimes in the same dish. The polenta comes in slices which is then grilled with toppings of mushrooms and individual fried aubergines in a batter. Polenta can sometimes seem boring but this was soft and  moreish, even when heated up. We were offered some mint sauce and that did make it all the more interesting.

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Bellantoni’s – Now closed

address: Unit 81, Brixton Village Market, SW9

telephone: 078 7294 5675

For information see http://www.bellantonis.co.uk/Welcome.html

After a Christmas break the chef proprietor Dario Bellantoni has returned.  Easy to detect how the name of this Italian restaurant came about. But it is difficult to understand where some of the additional comments below their name come from but more in a minute. It is spread across two sides of an alleyway in Brixton Village with one side an open kitchen and a few tables and on the other a small dining room – in between the windswept alleyway with tables which is where we ended up – only daring to remove our gloves to eat. But in the summer — you guessed it — we ended up in the dining room as all the other tables were full. The dining room was empty for most of our meal which meant we could easily talk above the din of the busy Sunday lunch crowd.

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Bellantoni’s Cookery Course

Address: 5th Avenue, Brixton Village, SW9 8PS

Telephone: 078 7294 5675

Email: bellantonis@yahoo.co.uk

Website: http://www.bellantonis.co.uk/Cookery_Classes.html

I’ve just eaten one of the best meals I’ve had in Brixton. And I cooked it myself – sort of. “Sort of” because I cooked it under the guidance of chef Dario Bellantoni, at one of the courses he runs at his restaurant in Brixton Village. His aim is to help you to create the pleasures of Italian home cooking by teaching you how to make and roll by hand pasta dishes, to use seasoning, to cook sauces and to improve food presentation.

Dario comes from Liguria in northern Italy, so this is his style of cooking; simple with the accent on flavour. He told me that much of his approach to cooking was handed down by his grandmother; so now it’s been passed onto me.

One thing he emphasises is the integrity of the ingredients that he uses. Some come direct from his own sources in Italy but he also buys locally, such as the fish from Brixton Market. It’s also noteworthy, from the point of view of the amateur cook, that everything he does can be done at home. I was amazed to find that all his cooking is done in a space smaller than that of most home kitchens, with just a domestic oven and a four ring hob.

The course lasted around three hours but in that time we prepared four dishes, totally from scratch.

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Bellantoni’s

address: Unit 81, Brixton Village Market, SW9

telephone: 078 7294 5675

For information see http://www.bellantonis.co.uk/Welcome.html

After a Christmas break the chef proprietor Dario Bellantoni has returned.  Easy to detect how the name of this Italian restaurant came about. But it is difficult to understand where some of the additional comments below their name come from but more in a minute. It is spread across two sides of an alleyway in Brixton Village with one side an open kitchen and a few tables and on the other a small dining room – in between the windswept alleyway with tables which is where we ended up – only daring to remove our gloves to eat.

Choosing is easy – the menu is blessedly short with seasonal dishes – antipasta, homemade vegetarian pasta dishes (I mean everything including the pasta) and some more substantial fish dishes and stews. We ordered antipasta between the three of us and as it is meant for two sharing we raced for our favourites but luckily there was enough for everyone to try all the separate pieces …. dried tomato, rocket, chorizo, olives which look the colour of pecans and mozarella and burrata. Burrata is made from mozarella and cream and is a smooth texture and was served at the right temperature so it was creamy or, as Dario told u,s buttery from the Italian “burrata” . It goes well with the bread and oil that comes with the whole antipasta dish.

For mains we chose the lasagne with ricotta and spinach, spicy tomato and chorizo stew and monkfish in a saffron sauce. The lasagne was definitely enough but for a balanced meal I should have chosen a salad as well. The chorizo stew was stupendous – soft and slightly spicy with the tomatoes not too acidic. The only weak point was the monkfish, with a remarkably small portion of fish for what was described on the menu as a main course, hardly any vegetables and very little sauce that simply didn’t have enough flavour anyway.

The choice of desserts is even more limited and we ended the meal with two tarts (one apple and cinnamon, one banana) although they were in fact pieces of pie rather than a tart. Both came accompanied by a dollop of mascarpone. The banana was our  favourite.

We drank a bottle of the red Sardinian wine that was on the specials list. It was fruity and not to heavy and kept us warm until the main courses arrived. There were cheaper bottles and glasses on the menu – all as we remember Italian.

The price for the whole of our meal was about £25.00 per person but we did have more wine and the expensive main dishes. As a sideline this restaurant offers cooking classes for anyone who has now run out of ideas fop birthday surprises. Our own piece of advice (apart from do try this restaurant) is to book early and get a seat inside during the winter months.