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Authentic cuisine

Posted: 5th April 2016

Henry Ascoli samples the rich and robust tastes of authentic Italian cuisine at Petersfield’s La Piazzetta restaurant…

Serving original dishes in a relaxed atmosphere, La Piazzetta captures the rich and robust tastes of the Mediterranean while providing a typically warm Italian welcome.

Using local ingredients, La Piazzetta offers an ever-changing menu featuring everything from pizza, pasta and risotto to authentic fish dishes and home-made specialities, capturing the essence of Italian cuisine.

We strolled across Petersfield Square, the cobbles illuminated by the warm glow of a beautiful spring evening, before stepping inside the restaurant – the exposed beams, wooden flooring and  décor immediately setting the scene for a romantic candlelit dinner.

Poring over the menu, we were truly spoilt for choice, with an array of tantalizing dishes on offer. After much deliberation, to start I settled on Bianchetti Fritti – deep-fried whitebait with tartar sauce and salad garnish. This classic seafood starter was cooked to perfection – the crunchy, salty coating giving way to melt-in-the-mouth bites of whitebait, the tangy sauce and fresh salad creating a perfect accompaniment. Meanwhile, my partner relished the earthy flavours of the vegetable soup, served with warm rustic crusty bread.

Moving on to the main event, I opted for Pollo Asparagi, - corn-fed chicken breast with fresh asparagus and parmesan, in a creamy sauce. One of the best dishes I have tasted in a long time, this offered a beautiful balance of flavours and textures – the tender chicken falling from the fork, the crunch of the asparagus and wholesome vegetables in strong contrast to the thick, smooth sauce.

Across the table, Tinika enjoyed duck breast with reduced apricot sauce, mash potatoes and green beans, a sumptuous bursting with flavour, every mouthful a pure delight.

And to finish, a sweet treat: home-made Pannacotta with caramel sauce. This traditional Italian dessert – smooth, creamy and refreshing – added the finishing touch to a fine dinner. My partner commented on the rich flavour of the indulgent home-made chocolate fudge cake, served with luxurious vanilla ice cream; both dishes proved a pure delight.

Through creating a carefully-chosen menu, providing a personal service and showing attention to detail throughout, La Piazzetta sets the standard – offering not only a meal out, but a memorable dining experience.

La Piazzetta, 2 The Square, Petersfield GU32 3HJ, 01730 260006, www.italian-restaurant-petersfield.co.uk