Ask me what I want for a perfect date night and it will be an excellent martini and some lovely fresh seafood. So obviously when organising a date night for my husband I look for somewhere local where we can get a good martini and some good seafood. Happy wife, happy life doesn’t the saying go? Where we are in Kent there isn’t an abundance of these sorts of places in a 5 mile radius, but there are a few and Stuzzichini’s is one of them.
We all know how highly I rate Melluccis in Bexley village for its authentic Italian food but sometimes you want a bit of glamour and some nice cocktails for your evening and whilst I don’t think the food at Stuzzichini’s is quite as good, it’s still pretty damn good with a different sort of atmosphere…
We went on a Saturday evening and although the restaurant was busy is was nice as the acoustics are great there and so there’s just that lovely murmur of chat rather than deafening chit chat and muzak. We kicked the evening off with a Dirty martini which was a great martini served in a horrendous glass. Stemless martini glasses are null in void as the stop the drink staying ice cold!
As a pre-starter we had a platter of oysters. Having been here before I know they get their seafood nice and fresh and their oysters are bought in daily. These were as good as good oysters can be, lovely and plump and tasting of the sea. The shallot vinegar was a bit of a let-down – it was more like onion mush with a splash of red wine, but I’ll forgive them as oysters with just a squeeze of lemon are just as good.
We ordered two starters to share; Piccolo Fritto Misto di Pesce was first up and was every bit as good as when I’ve had this dish in Italy. Pieces of fish and seafood (prawns, sea bass, squid and mussels) coated in a delectably crispy batter and squeezed with some fresh lemon juice. It’s not rocket science I know but it is a joy to eat, dragging the crisp, hot fish through a punchy garlic aioli.
Our other starter was Gamberi e Zucchine, slivers of courgette wrapped around a ricotta mousse with prawns. It sounds a bit 70’s and let’s be honest it looks a bit 70’s but do not let that detract you dear readers – it was light and zesty which, when you were eating as much as we were, makes for a good choice!
This was the point of the evening when we decided to order a nice bottle of white wine. They sell Italian wines only (quite rightly) and have great selection, all of which were very tempting – we went on our waitress’ (excellent) recommendation, the Lugana Santa Sofia. Crisp and dry, its freshness was the perfect accompaniment to our menu choices.
Mains and we both went seafood heavy again. I went for the lobster pasta and Mr A went for the seafood stew.
At first glance my lobster dish looks, well a bit messy, and perhaps it isn’t the best presentation but it tasted nice. The bisque base to the sauce means it wasn’t too heavy although I think a dash of cream would enrich the depth of flavour somewhat. I’m also not sure if it is worth its £16.00 price point, it was a bit too generic, nothing special.
Mr A had the seafood stew which was served with far too much bread but was generous with the amount of fish, they obviously use the same bisque for both of the dishes we chose as they tasted (not unpleasantly) similar another reason why adding cream to the lobster dish would make sense…
As usual we split a dessert opting for the Specialita della casa – filo pastry tarts – one filled with honeyed orange ricotta and the other with a lemon mascarpone cream. A perfect end to the meal as they were nice and light and the serving was not too big. I recommend you also end your evening with a shot of their Frangelico, all meals should end with Frangellico!
The total cost of the meal came to £127.00 – not cheap at all but then we had oysters, 4 courses, cocktails and wine so don’t let my greediness fool you into thinking its very expensive! Good food, nice ambiance and great staff are what Stuzzichini offers, I enjoyed our meal there very much.
8/10 Stuzzuchini, 254 Broadway, Bexleyheath