Arrived at La Piazza quite early for lunch about 12.30pm - so it was quite quiet in the restaurant so I chatted with the Italian waitress called Valeria about the restaurant, the food and Italy.
She recommended the sea bream on the specials board as it had arrived fresh that morning from Billingsgate market. The fish was baked and served with white wine and herbs but I asked if I could have spicy tomato sauce instead. She said it should be no problem. She checked with the head chef who said he could make a traditional Sicilian sauce (a family recipe).
It sounded very good and I asked whether it could be served filleted (which was no problem) - as I don't like to see the the fish head. The plate arrived with a selected of vegetables and sauteed potatoes which accompanied the fish well. The sauce was spicy with cherry tomatoes, capers, olives and other ingredients.
I learnt, from the waitress, that most of the staff there are from southern Italy as the restaurant owners have family and friends in that region. Most of the food comes from the markets in London and is selected by the chef himself, some comes from Italian suppliers and some special items are flown in by Italian family or friends.
The main course was great and the wine list was extensive - I choose a bottle of Italian white (Orvieto) to accompany which was excellent.
Several of the desserts sounded good, but after consideration, I choose the Nutella Cheesecake which was perfect, well presented and definitely homemade.
Overall, a great lunch - excellent food, wine and great friendly service (and great coffee) - for me the perfect Italian meal
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