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Friday, 8 October 2010

Melanzana, Battersea

 Is it a bar? is it a trattoria? Is it a deli? Well, it’s all three... and it’s also a find. I'm told there used to be a mad disco called Bennet's on Battersea Square. Under its glass dance floor, it boasted piranha fish ready to chew to stumps the feet of anyone who flunked the Noo Yawk Hustle. By the time I moved to SW11 (quickly realising my grave mistake and legging it back over the river, pronto) the hood was devoid of any interest beyond Ransome's Dock. But then came Montevetro with its millionnaire pads. Now, SW11's wadded new homies have various noshing ops on Battersea Square of which, Melenzana is by far their best option. This cute, rustic affair - formerly the dire Raven pub before it shot the crow - offers draught Peroni at £3.60 and a fair selection of Italian vino to drink in or to go.  Apperitivo hour -  that's around 7 pm local time - is when to rock up for an Americano. Otherwise, order oaky Sardinian red, Cannonau (£25.80); Nosiola, a fruit and nutty white from Italy’s alpine slopes; or crisp Prosecco at £5.50 per glass. Charming service delivers a range of honestly-priced, mostly well-executed simple recipes: strozzapreti with mussels and courgettes; rich gnocchi with Italian sausage in a tomato, spinach and mascarpone sauce; beef carpaccio and a dozen top notch pizzas. Only troppo al dente aubergine in a mixed grilled veg salad struck a bum note. An affordable range of antipasti, meats, cheeses and sauces from the deli counter is another magnet for busy Battersea bachelors and yummy mummys in a hurry.  
(adapted from my Square Meal review)

140 Westbridge Rd SW11 7228 5420