It seems only right that i should be mentioning nice eating places that are on my own doorstep so let me introduce our local Italian restaurant, Tarantella to all the Cumbrians out there who haven`t yet experienced it. Formerly known as Cheers wine bar it now goes under Tarantella on the high street of Cockermouth in West Cumbria. The name Tarantella basically translates as a rapid , whirling , energetic Italian dance brought on to remedy a disorder called Tarantism…The uncontrollable urge to dance following the bite of a Tarantula…..really.
I won`t parp on about ambience , music or decor as it`s much the same as any other high street Italian restaurant.The food on the other hand isn`t.
Tarantella runs with all the usual Pastas , Pizzas and Risottos on the menu and on the whole they all seem to be done rather well , they certainly looked nice enough. I wanted to try a little something different and the menu definitely offers a very good choice in traditional Italiian cuisine.
I booked a table for 4 on a Monday evening and I really expected to have the restaurant to ourselves but at 7.30 we were amongst the last couple of tables to be seated in a full to capacity restaurant. Monday night in a sleepy little Cumbrian town. They are obviously doing something very right here.
The food isn`t ground breaking at Tarantella but it`s extremely comforting, It arrives quickly and it hits the mark. It`s full of flavour , fresh and well cooked. Service comes with lots of smiles and i actually noted other tables commenting on this….it goes an awful long way seeing happy staff. I asked for a bottle of mineral water with ice and was asked if i would prefer a large jug of iced Lakeland tap water instead…..Now there`s a first.
So a meal here certainly isn`t going to break the bank. A 2 course lunch will set you back £8.50 . A set 3 course dinner in the evening will cost £16.95 and then there`s the individually priced a la carte menu.( examples are priced below with the photos ). Its romantic , its buzzy and the foods great , and if you`re that strapped for cash then just order a pizza to share and drink good old Lakeland tap water , it`s as good as anything in a bottle.
Con il Pomodoro e la mozzarella – With tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. £4.95
Asparagi grigliate – Char grilled asparagus with a poached egg and parmesan shavings drizzled with white truffle oil and a balsamic reduction. £6.95
Carpaccio di manzo – Fillet of beef carpaccio served with rocket and parmesan shavings with a Caesar dressing. £9.95
Antipasto italiano – Selection of cold meats, smoked salmon, olives, roast peppers, sundried tomatoes, jalapenos, artichokes, buffalo mozzarella and focaccia bread. £6.95
Gamberoni all’aglio – King prawns roasted in chilli, garlic and olive oil. £9.95
Capesante al gratin – Queen scallops with a garlic butter, parsley and Parma ham with grated pecorino cheese and baked in the shell. £8.95…could have eaten another dozen.
Seared Scallops with Peas.
Ravioli di aragosta e capesante – Homemade queen scallop mousse and lobster ravioli with a breaded spinach and crab cake served with a shellfish bisque. £12.95. This was beautiful and as good as I`ve eaten in any London restaurants.The ravioli contained large chunks of Lobster meat encased in a scallop mousse.The Bisque was a reduction of the Shells and was very rich and I would go back for this dish alone….highly recommended…and cheap.
Pollo al gnocchi – Corn fed chicken supreme served with a chorizo, leek, spring onion and white bean cassoulet with potato gnocchi £15.95 Filetti di orate – Fillets of gilthead bream served with spinach , crushed new potatoes and a mussel, prawn, prosecco and cream veloute £16.95
Corn fed chicken with Gnocchi , peas and ham
Calfs Liver and Onions
Time for Pudding and these two certainly weren`t complaining…and after whinges of “Dad…I`m totally full……but I think I can manage a dessert” they managed to devour this lot below.
Good old Sticky Toffee pudding , Cumbrian style.
Vanilla Panna Cotta….Old school with Tuile and zig zags… but all the flavours were there, Tarantella Tiramisu.
Zabaglioni with Summer fruits.