Wednesday, 16 March 2011



March 2011 marks an important anniversary in Italian history, 150 years of a united Italy. To celebrate, Italian restaurant group Spaghetti House has recreated a menu of historical dishes which will be offered between 14 and 20 March.

The celebration menu is aptly based on the rich, regal cuisine found in Turin, as the unity of Italy was proclaimed on 17 March in Turin, which became its first capital in 1861, several years before Rome would take over the permanent role. King Victor Emmanuel resided in Turin, and the town was always known for its excellent food and wines.
Paying homage to this cuisine, Spaghetti House’s menu at £14.95 for two courses and £18.95 for three, includes starters of Potage di patate profumato al tartufo – leek and potato creamed soup with garlic bread and truffle oil, and Gnocchi con salsa al parmigiano e pancetta – potato and spinach gnocchi with parmisan and pancetta. Mains include Agnolotti al sugo d’arrosto – pasta parcels filled with braised beef, veal jus and sage, and the most typical Turinese dish Brasato al Barolo con polenta – beef braised in Barolo wine with crispy polenta. This meal would not be complete without a Torta gelato ganduja – a layered ganduja chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla ice cream torte, although a homemade Tiramisu – Spaghetti House’s own recipe – is also on offer.

Italian celebrations always call for a glass of Prosecco, which is of course included in the menu price.

‘Unity Week’ window dressing, red, white and green balloons, posters and cocktail stick flags will create a festive atmosphere in the restaurants, inviting guests to share in the celebrations. Spaghetti House are located at Westfield London W12, Woodstock Street near Bond St W1, Goodge Street Fitzrovia W1, Bryanston Street near Marble Arch W1, Haymarket SW1, Knightsbridge SW1, Sicilian Avenue Holborn WC1, St Martin’s Lane WC2, Duke Street W1, Cranbourn Street near Leicester Square WC2 and Bressenden Place Victoria SW1.

Until 1861, Italy was divided. Its regions has their own government, traditions and dialects. Then in 1861 following The Risorgimento (the movement for Italian freedom and unification) popular hero and leader Giuseppe Garibaldi led an expedition of 1,000 ‘red shirts’ to Sicily, and subsequently seized the southern part of the peninsula of Italy. Garibaldi turned its conquest to king Victor Emmanuel, and in 1861 the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed. Italians had at last their own country. The first capital was Turin, where the unification was announced and where King resided, and remained so for four years. The Government of the Kingdom was then moved to Florence and in 1871 Rome became the final capital. Turin however continued to attract millions of visitors as it remained the focal point of the 50th and 100th anniversaries in 1911 and 1961 respectively.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Would love to see you at the forthcoming Italian Wine Tour – the 7th in a series - on Wednesday 30 March at Brown’s Hotel, Dover Street entrance, London W1S 4 LU (nearest stations: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus). 2 pm – 7 pm – open trade and press tasting.

The list of prized artisan producers is still growing, and right now includes big names such as Guido Berlucchi, Cantina Due Palme and Falesco, as well as wineries newer to the UK market such as Il Pollenza with the famed Carlo Ferrini as the winemaker, Conte Leopardi Dittajuti who will present its lip-smacking Rosso Conero, full of dark, dusky fruit and Puglia’s Torrevento with its range of whites, reds and the Dulcis Moscato di Trani, which won three medals from Decanter in 2010 and the ‘tre bicchieri’ from the Italian Wine Guide 2011.

Restaurateurs, sommeliers, journalists, would love to hear from you. Drop me an email to receive an invite.
Or call us on 020 7631 3116