Cantina Del Ponte is a welcoming, traditional trattoria by the Thames, offering everything from quick bites to longer, relaxed dinners. Guests are greeted by an enormous Italian marketplace mural, along with black and white tiles to merge the traditional trattoria vibe with that of the bustling capital. Head chef Romildo Tricarico, hailing from Veneto, spent his early years mastering his fresh pasta skills at the Giovanni Rana family restaurant. His cooking style is heavily influenced by traditional Italian home-style family cooking.
Visits to Cantina Del Ponte start with the likes of an Aperol Spritz or Negroni, or stylish mocktails for any non-drinkers. As one might expect, Nocellara olives and focaccia are on hand to feed hungry mouths while eyes examine the menu. Antipasti celebrate Italian classics, such as calamari, nduja meatballs, arancini, burrata or beef carpaccio, alongside house creations, like the bruschetta di Cantina: tomato, basil and stracciatella atop crunchy bread.
Following a traditional structure, mains are separated into primi and secondi. The primi selection showcases classics like mushroom risotto, lobster tagliolini, gnocchi, wild boar ragu, seafood linguini, lasagne and pumpkin and ricotta ravioli. Those who filled up on bread will have to make room for the equally delightful secondi, including grilled spatchcock baby chicken, lamb rump, salmon fillet, veal or pan-fried cod. For cheese lovers, there is spaghetti cacio e pepe (the simplest of sauces, consisting primarily of pasta water) with black truffle, served in a wheel of pecorino.
Following the style of the rest of the menu, desserts include traditional staples like tiramisu, pannacotta ai fruitti di bosco, house gelato or the house cheese selection.
The wine list has a truly broad range of Italian by the bottle or glass, including fruity Sicilian whites and dry Sardinian entries, as well as punch Puglian reds, champagnes and dessert wine to round off the meal nicely.