Italian food is my favourite cuisine, so hopes were high for Sheffield’s La Gondola, which promises authentic dishes.
We arrived at the restaurant, at 33 Carver Street, on a weekday evening at 6pm and noticed a board outside which informed us we could get two courses for £14.95 or three for £17.95 between Sunday to Thursday. It’s impressive value in the city centre.
Once inside, we were seated by a friendly waiter who gave us a menu and left us to browse. I did, however, have to clarify with the waiter which dishes we were able to get under the offer (which was all but some meat dishes, but as two vegetarians this was not a problem for us).
I was torn between the vegetarian crespella, (pancake), and vegetarian risotto for main course, but decided to have the best of both worlds with the crespella as a starter.
Meanwhile, my friend ordered the garlic bread with cheese for a starter and a classic margarita pizza for main.
The crespella was stuffed full of seasonable vegetables and a rich tomato sauce. There was also a generous helping of mozzarella cheese, which was much appreciated.
There was perhaps a little too much sauce in relation to pancake, but it was still very enjoyable.
My friend commented that the garlic bread was one of the best she had tried. Simple and tasty.
The risotto, with a range of vegetables including mushrooms, garlic and a little cream, was packed full of flavour and there were plenty of fresh vegetables in every mouthful.
I would have appreciated a bit more than a touch of cream though, just to give it the richness you’d expect from the dish.
My friend said her pizza did not have the rustic taste she would have hoped for from an authentic Italian restaurant, but she still enjoyed it, and she appreciated being able to add an extra topping of chillies as well.
We were nicely full after our meals, but decided to look at desserts - there’s always room for something sweet.
We chose to share the salted caramel cheesecake, (though, I confess, I ate most of it).
The soft vanilla cheesecake was decorated with a delicious Belgian chocolate ganache and swirled with white chocolate and a pretty gold dust. The buttery digestive base melted in the mouth.
Our meal, accompanied by a glass of apple juice (£2) and a glass of the house red wine (£4.50) came to £39.90.