It’s All A Matter Of Taste

Canta Napoli does simplicity with indefinable Italian aplomb

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Canta Napoli
9a Devonshire Road, Chiswick, W4 2EU

020 8994 5225

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I was asked at the weekend what, if anything, I knew about wine. I responded that I knew all I needed to know about wine which is what I like the taste of. For good measure I added that I believe a safe indicator of a restaurant’s standards can be found in their house wine therefore I would tend to go with their ‘expert’ choice.

The question was aimed at making me feel inadequate, that I am not equipped with the correct knowledge to give an educated opinion of a restaurant.

I have to disagree. I believe anyone equipped with taste buds in working order is able to present an opinion of a meal they have consumed, likewise with the wine that accompanied it.

Because a review of anything is simply an opinion, not fact, but one person's viewpoint and as such I would say that in my opinion Canta Napoli is a more suitable offering than its former incarnation Vino Rosso for its Devonshire Road site.

In a remarkable turnaround, the owners changed the popular fine dining Italian into a Neapolitan café with a menu that requires careful consideration. For each time you settle on a dish; the next one changes your mind.

Traditional favourites are all there, Prosciutto San Daniele con mozzarella di bufala campana, brushettas, Carpaccio di Chianina addumicata (beef carpaccio) as well as the less common Carpaccio di tonno (tuna carpaccio £6.95) which is my absolute favourite. All bread is made and baked on the premises.

Two of my lunch companions chose a spicy prawn and bean dish the correct name of which I forgot to note, the taste of which I could not forget, it was delicious. A perfect dish for a cold blustery February day.

Again with the main courses you’re spoilt for choice with home made pastas, pizzas cooked in a wood fired oven, sizeable salads, grilled meats and my choice of Scamorza alla piastra con verdue grigliate or grilled cheese with courgettes, aubergines and peppers (£8.45). My companions chose meatballs with wide ribbons of pasta in a rich tomato sauce, sausages served on a bed of spinach and pizza so generous in size that half of it ended up in a box to be taken home for supper.

At my suggestion, and to prove a point, we shared a bottle of house red. Very drinkable, well priced at a palatable £10.95 and was spot on as an accompaniment to our lunch.

Canta Napoli has played it safe with the décor, the menu and even the background music, but it’s done with that indefinable Italian aplomb. An understated approach, letting the food and wine, speak for itself, which it does.

But this is just my opinion, to help you make your own mind up, Canta Napoli are currently offering two main courses for the price of one (see voucher for details).

Emma Brophy


February 13, 2009