Last week my husband and I were invited to Pulcinella an Italian restaurant in Ashley Cross, the area is definitely becoming a bit of a foodie district having only visited a few weeks ago to eat South African style. No points for guessing where that was.
I can't remember the last time we went to an Italian restaurant so it made a very pleasant change, the restaurant was completely empty when we arrived which can sometimes be a little unnerving but the staff were really welcoming and soon had us settled in the window seat with the menu and a glass of wine.
Dark panelled walls and exposed copper pipe gave off an industrial vibe, if a little dark in some areas. There was no mistaking the restaurants Italian roots with wall art depicting Venice, the Pulcinella character from 17th century commedia and obviously the centrally positioned pizza oven.
Menus in hand we discussed various options and decided upon the Bruschetta Al Pomodoro (Garlic Bread topped with chopped tomatoes, red onion and basil) and the Calamari Fritti (Deep fried calamari). As the restaurant was quiet we took the opportunity to watch the dough being prepped and cooked in the pizza oven, personally I love open kitchen and a chance to see the chef at work.
By the time our starters were ready the restaurant was starting to fill up nicely (it appears 8pm is the time to eat in Ashley Cross) my bruschetta was absolutely delicious, a nice crisp base heaped with fresh tomatoes, but a word of warning the portions are huge it would of easily fed both of us.
We both chose chicken based main courses Penne con Pollo and Polla alla Sorrento, Simon was very complimentary about his pasta dish, again a decent portion size. My Polla alla Sorrento was really tasty but I found the ham/mozzeralla combination a little too salty and although I tried my hardest I couldn't finish it.
Neither of us could manage a dessert and that is a rare thing for my other half but we were treated to a glass of Limoncello,to end the meal, sweet and sticky but, oh so good.
Service was excellent throughout the evening and we wouldn't hesitate to go back- however, I heard on the Italian grapevine that there will be a Pulcinella opening in Southbourne soon which means no need to drive. Excellent news.
79 Commercial Road
Invited by PR company? No
Guest of the Chef/restaurant/owner? Yes
Restaurant/outlet knew I am a food blogger? Yes
Was the meal complimentary? Yes
Any complimentary items provided by the restaurant/outlet? No