So let’s talk about Carbonara.
There’s the kind that’s served in regular, run-of-the-mill British versions of Italian restaurants, and then there’s the proper kind. The kind you’ll find in a back street restaurant in Rome, full of locals talking passionately about life, love, football and how good the Carbonara is. That’s the kind they serve up in this fabulous, independent restaurant which recently opened in Chester city centre.
These guys are Romans through and through. They grew up together – Flav followed Sam to Chester about eight years ago after Italy descended into recession – and the pair worked their way up through the ranks at Sergio’s and Bollicini over a seven-year period. Sam became Manager, and Flav worked in all departments getting to know the restaurant game from the inside out, and now they’ve done it for themselves. Sam, Flav and the team already have many adoring fans in Chester and beyond as they are warm, kind, and passionate – a heady mix of everything you need to help make life good again, as we continue our journey out of the pandemic.
The food at Carbonara is fantastic! It is all freshly prepared to order (of course), and they add new dishes to the menu every week. My favourite will forever be that fabulous and perfectly al dente carbonara (especially with a shaving of fresh black truffle over the top!), but there is so much more to choose from. The steak is excellent and the misso fritto is perfecto! I also love the mixed platters of Italian cured meats and cheeses, as sharing food makes the best catch up with friends food at the end of a busy week.
Sam and Flav are Romans through and through, and that means they do not mess about with good quality produce. They are always busy sourcing the best ingredients for their no-nonsense menu, and the produce is either as local as possible or imported directly from their favourite region of Italy. The superb (and very affordable) wine list is provided by our great friends at White Fox Wines on Sealand Road, who specialise in sourcing and importing some epic Italian wines from small, family-run vineyards.
Add to that great service and oodles of charm from this fabulous team, and you have yourself one awesome, local, dining experience. And did I mention the Hot Italian cocktail? Everyone needs a couple of those every now and then!