big portions, charming italian restaurant, chocolate and passionfruit cheesecake, goat's cheese and fig with parma ham, Insalata Tricolore mozzarella, JPR Media, lobster linguine, marco moscoloni, parsons green restaurant, sausage ragu, seafood fish stew, tuscan cooking, Vicino, Zabaglione
Last Wednesday night my friend Ali and I dined at the charming Italian restaurant known as Vicino. Vicino serves genuine Italian cooking from the heart. Home-cooked authentic Italian cuisine is served in this favourite local neighbourhood restaurant nestled in the leafy borough of Parsons Green
Vicino is the Italian meaning for “neighbour” and the restaurant was given this name by one of their regular customers who is now a part of the family.
Known all over London for its fresh Billingsgate Market lobster, Vicino customers are loyal friends and locals who have been coming to this restaurant for years. Guests travel all over London to have Vicino’s delicious Linguine con Aragosta, Vino Bianco, Aglio e Peperoncino – which is Whole Lobster with Linguine, with White Wine Sauce, Garlic, Olive Oil & Chilli .
Vicino restaurant is simply beautiful. Decorated with vintage Italian posters and hanging garlic, you feel as you enter that you have stepped into a little part of Italy. At 7.30 the restaurant was already full and Ali and I couldn’t wait to see what was on offer on the menu.
There is a wide selection of what to choose on the menu. Head chef Marco Moscoloni brings his traditional Tuscan cooking to Vicino. Having developed his love for seafood cooking working at 5 star restaurants by the Adriatic Sea, Marco landed the role of junior sous chef at Saraghino restaurant at the age of 17. He then broadened his experience in a number of restaurants in Mayfair and Chelsea, such as Convivio and Dolada, where he experimented with fine dining and new cooking techniques.
At the helm of Vicino, Marco has developed a number of signature recipes of his own from his hometown Marche – Casareece Sausages, White Lasagne porcino mushroom and truffle, Linguine Cartuccio, pappardelle with veal straccetti or his seafood fish stew, that have since become a staple of his cooking.
With this knowledge and with the recommendation of the lobster Ali and I knew what we wanted for our mains but for starters we opted for the Insalata Tricolore mozzarella -plum tomato & avocado salad based with pesto sauce which was presented beautifully and probably one of the tastiest starters I have had as well as the Prosciutto e Fichi -parma ham with fresh figs, goat cheese crumbled & aged balsamic. I love any dish with goat’s cheese in and the cheese accompanied with fig was fresh, sweet and delicious.
For mains I went for the Spaghetti all’Aragosta – half fresh lobster, served with spaghetti in tomato, garlic & chilli sauce which definitely lives up to its rave reviews. Ali had the Casarecce Con Ragu Di Salsiccia Piccante – twisted pasta with a spicy tuscan sausage ragu which she thoroughly enjoyed. The portions are very decent in size meaning you’re pretty full halfway through the dish but because both were so delicious, we just had to finish them. We had a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc, poeta della Vigna- which was a wonderful accompaniment to the pasta dishes.
We didn’t have room for dessert but again with such a wonderful selection of desserts on the menu, we had to try one. Ali opted for the Zabaglione a light dessert of whipped sugar & eggs flavoured with Marsala, traditionally whisked by hand in a copper bowl which was light, delicious and boozy whilst I opted for the chocolate and passion fruit cheesecake. I don’t think you can go wrong with ordering cheesecake and this one definitely didn’t disappoint.
We left the restaurant with painful but satisfied tummies and a really enjoyable evening. It is the perfect place to go to for a date, with family or to catch up with friends, where you can get an incredible meal for fantastic value. Vicino’s charm, atmosphere and classic delicious food guarantees loyal customers who when craving a taste of Italy know exactly where to come.