Thursday 19 March 2015

Restaurant Review: Il Ponte, Epsom

Il Ponte doesn’t look like the most upmarket restaurant -  I’m always a little dubious about restaurants that fill their website with giant pictures of their food (I prefer the subtle approach). But when we wanted to go to the cinema in Epsom and I fancied Italian for a change - and we needed somewhere a short walk from the cinema - this seemed the best choice.
Service was a little slow (and they weren’t busy at all so couldn’t give that as an excuse) but we had allowed plenty of time before the film. We shared a bread basket as the starter which came with oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping which I really like. My boyfriend had a margherita pizza which he said was pretty good and comparable to Pizza Express (which is praise but not high praise, essentially).

 I was pleased to see they had quite an extensive menu and even a list of daily specials; I was in the mood for fish or pasta and was able to combine both in the salmon steak topped with smoked salmon and prawns, served with linguine in a lemon and butter sauce (£13.95).

 The salmon was beautifully cooked, with a generous amount of tiny prawns but the smoked salmon on top in my opinion didn’t work. I was expecting a piece of raw smoked salmon, perhaps wrapped into a roll with an artfully placed piece of dill on top. Instead, the smoked salmon was stretched the length of the salmon and cooked in the oven, meaning it went hard. It was only half way through the meal I realised what this was – I had thought they had overcooked the top of the salmon. I ended up taking the smoked salmon off the top and not eating it. The pasta and sauce was good – a subtle flavour that went well with the salmon, and I also had a side order of broccoli to go with it.

The portion of pasta was quite small and fish isn’t particularly filling so despite having had the bread to start, I was still hungry for dessert. There was a good selection of traditional Italian desserts and the usual pudding suspects. My boyfriend had the chocolate fudge cake which was a large slice, very fluffy with a hot chocolate sauce. My pecan pie on the other hand was disappointing. In my opinion pecan pie should be hot or at least room temperature but this was fridge-cold, which spoiled the texture somewhat.

Overall though we had a good meal here; I am definitely keen to try the burger place next time we go for dinner in Epsom but I would happily eat here again.

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