Al Forno


Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Essexgirl09 on January 2, 2013

Whilst visiting a friend one Saturday evening in Surrey, we decided to get the tram into Wimbledon and watch a film and get a bite to eat. My friend suggested this place as she had eaten here before and enjoyed it.

The restaurant is situated on Kings Road in Wimbledon which is just off the main thoroughfare and about 5 mins walk from the station. As you approach you instantly get the feeling of an authentic, rustic Italian restaurant. In the front is a covered pavement area. This is fully covered like a marquee for winter and is heated.

Upon arrival at just before 7pm on a Saturday night, the restaurant was about three-quarters full and we were seated at a table for two in the front marquee part and left with a drinks list and food menus. The whole ambience is that of a family run Italian restaurant and like many of its type it is also quite cramped. The waiting staff had to be very patient to get through little gaps carrying plates in a delicate balancing act. I was on the end near the entrance to the marquee part and was relieved not to have a plate of pasta down my back. However the staff were all quick and friendly and took time to charm the smaller diners with a couple of games a peek-a-boo.

We decided to skip starters and have a main dish with a side of garlic bread. Starters are the usual suspects: Calamari or Insalata Tricolore (avocado, mozzarella and tomatoes) for £5.95, plus bruschetta for £3.50 were typical options, although there were also some more sophisticated choices such as smoked salmon rolls with baby prawns and mascarpone (£6.95). As it was our side of garlic bread with cheese came as a starter rather than the side we intended it to be. We weren’t unduly bothered and tucked in nonetheless. It was served as pizza style bread and had plenty of melted cheese on it. The garlic wasn’t too over-powering either.

For my main my friend went for the lasagne (£7.95) which was simply presented in a white ceramic dish, and she thought it tasty and filling. After much deliberation I went for Rigatoni All Ortolana (£7.95) which was rigatoni pasta served in a tomato sauce with spinach, rocket and olives. I enjoyed it but I didn’t think it anything special – I could have made this at home at anytime, and in fact it didn’t taste any different to one I would have made, plus there were hardly any olives. I finished it off just leaving a bit of sauce.
Other pasta options include: linguini with mussels (£11.95) and gnocchi with gorgonzola (£7.95). Pizzas started at £6.95 for a small and included Esteva (mozzarella, aubergines, and tomatoes), prosciutto and mushroom or Romana with capers and anchovies. I would definitely have a pizza if I came again.

Other mains include meat dishes such as chicken with mushrooms and peppercorn sauce with sautéed potatoes (£8.95) up to steak dishes for £16.95. They also offer risottos and fish dishes.

We also passed on desserts. The loos are upstairs (I am not sure there are disabled ones downstairs, but the cramped nature of the restaurant would make access a nightmare for those with limited mobility or in a wheelchair). I managed to find one with out the loo roll in it, but otherwise all were fine.

I would come back here and try a pizza if the opportunity presented itself. The food may not be that exciting but it is hearty and proper ‘feel-good’ cuisine. The bill came to just over £30 and we rounded up to £35 for service. This included two alcoholic drinks, two mains and a shared side dish. I recommend booking in advance if coming at peak times of if there is a group of you,


Al Forno Restaurant and Pizzeria
2A Kings Road
Wimbledon, England, SW19 8QN
+44 20 8540 5710

http://www.igougo.com/review-r1400258-Al_Forno.html

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