Many people are surprised that the London Borough of Walthamstow has a village: a pretty, quiet area with small museum and lovely old-world cottages. Until a couple of years ago, it was ‘the’ place to eat in E17 with half a dozen independent restaurants. However, the regeneration of the more central High Street area (a few minutes walk from home), has tempted one of the village restaurants, “Nuovo Mondragone”:http://nuovomondragone.co.uk/, to open a second outlet.
There were five of us, and as Italian restaurants seem to suit everyone, we ate there after seeing a special performance of Miss Saigon at the Empire. Nuovo Mondragone is a relatively small, long narrow place, and we were told that unlike the original, it’s open all day (although that’s not reflected on its website).
The “menu”:http://nuovomondragone.co.uk/menu.php is varied with not just pasta and pizza, but also meat and fish dishes.
After shared bruschetta, choices were: two pizzas (from the range of 20+ priced between £5.50 and £10); lasagne (£8.50); Abbacchio al forno (roasted lamb rack in red wine sauce) served with salted potatoes; and Fegato di vitello con panceta (pan fried calf’s liver and bacon with mashed potatoes). The meat dishes were around £15.
Everyone was happy with their choices and all plates were cleared which is always a good sign.
In writing this review, I’ve learned something new. I’ve always assumed ‘al forno’ meant ‘with cheese’ as I’ve often seen ‘lasagne al forno’ on menus. But bearing in mind the rack of lamb hadn’t been near cheese, I Googled to discover it means ‘baked in the oven’. Regardless of how the lamb was cooked, the chops were cooked to pink perfection as requested.
When our booking was made, we were told that there’d been a delay in obtaining their alcohol license. However, they were happy for us to take our own wine with no corkage, and we were more than happy to avoid the mark up restaurants always apply. They kept our stash of supermarket bottles in their fridge and brought it out on demand in a chiller.
All in all, it was a good first visit, and I suspect, even if I do have to pay £15 for a litre of wine, I’ll be returning fairly soon. There’s nothing like being able to walk back home at the end of a meal.