The food reviews are not advertisements. We pay for the meal then we comment and give points as honestly as we can for the benefit of readers. The points relate to quality and price according to the standard of the restaurant. We try to avoid bad reports so we visit only restaurants which we believe are worth reporting on.
*Key: Price: M - Dress Code: SC
|*FBA = First Bite Appeal
||*Price Code (excl. drinks):
L = 15 - 30 Euros
M = 30 - 60 Euros
H = 50 Â– 100+ Euros
CC = Casual Comfortable
SC = Smart Casual
F = Formal
It was time we reported on a good Italian restaurant! There are many restaurants that call themselves Â“ItalianÂ” just because they can boil some spaghetti, but the real genuine Italian restaurants are few and far in between. We decided to visit La Pappardella because we knew it is a genuine restaurant serving genuine Italian cuisine. Well established in London for over 20 years and in Puerto Banus, where it has been well known for many years, the Pappardella has made an excellent reputation as a fashionable and first class restaurant that is now embracing Estepona since its opening.
Typically Â“Italian StyleÂ” and very friendly. They just cannot help being Italian and you are immediately made to feel welcome. Can we say that you feel part of the family as soon as you walk in? There is no doubt that you are well attended and looked after by waiters as well as management who take the trouble to come to your table and help you join in the Italian spirit.
The restaurant is located on the portÂ’s front line. The specially made marble top tables give the dĂ©cor an air of simple distinction with a real flavour of Italy which extends to the Â“al frescoÂ” terrace to provide a romantic view of the port and sea, reinforced by the checked tablecloths that add a distinctive signature to the locale. The whole thing is designed to accompany the flavour of the real Italian quality food.
The menu clearly states that all dishes are prepared with the best quality products that Italy has to offer. Even the flour for the pizzas is imported from Italy because you cannot get the right type opf flour in Spain. The menu itself is very comprehensive offering a good selection of starters, different pastas (usually a first course in Italy) and main courses varying from rice dishes to chicken, meats and fish. Quite frankly it all looks so appetizing that it makes the choice very difficult. Once I decided that I need to re-visit the restaurant it helped me to make my mind up and slect what I would have Â“on this occasionÂ”.
The wine list offers a selection of good Italian wines, a few Spanish and a choice of real Champagne as you would expect. However we found that the Italian house wine was an excellent choice available in red as well as white.
While waiting to order the meal and to accompany our drinks, we were offered some tomato pizza bread for us to try. This is where you start to see the difference and realize that most of the pizza you have eaten in Spain was a fake.
In addition to the menu being quite comprehensive, we were also given a choice of some specialities of the day. We decided to choose the starter as a common plate for everyone and leave the rest to individual taste.
Mozzarella and tomatoes.
I did not expect to see a whole mozzarella presented with slices of red tomatoes, nor did I expect to see a fresh mozzarella. FBA Â– The choice of condiment is left to personal taste, it can be olive oil, vinegar, pepper, salt and it is available at the table, unless you prefer the Â“waiterÂ” with the giant pepper mill. The real mozzarella, fresh or otherwise, has a distinctive, subtle taste of its own and I can assure this was the real thing. It was probably made with Italian buffalo milk, which does make a difference. What can I say? If you appreciate the taste of mozzarella, a soft fresh cheese with a subtle taste, it was traditionally delicious.
Team score Â– 10/10
It would be impossible to list everything that everyone had, we were too many. So we are going to stick to the usual.
Linguine a le vongole.
Flat spaghetti pasta with vongole, basically a condiment prepared with olive oil, garlic and clams and the rest. FBA Â– A very Neapolitan dish and a very delicious dish. The pasta was cooked just right and the condiment was just like mama used to make. Please do not ask for parmesan cheese on this dish, it is just not done! When Imy plate was empty, I wondered where it had all gone so quickly!
Team score - 10/10
Spaghetti a le cozze
Cozze means mussels, and this time the condiment included tomato. FBA Â– Spaghetti blend themselves a lot better with tomato than other types of pasta, therefore the combination of tomato and mussels was just perfect. Again the pasta was cooked just right to complete a very tasty dish on which you can add parmesan cheese of you wish.
Team Score Â– 10/10
Pizza Quattro Formaggi.
Meaning four cheeses. FBA Â– There is a lot more to making pizza than most pizza places believe. What makes a good pizza is the dough and what makes a good dough is the right flour, which needs to be imported from Italy, this pizza was definitely well made. You can tell by the smell, the look andÂ… the taste. Even the choice of cheeses was right, not a pungent, aggressive cheese taste, but a subtle blend of dolcelatte, parmesan and mozzarella blended with cream. This is the first time I have tasted a good pizza in Spain.
Team Score Â– 10/10
No there is no mention of desserts on the menu. The long list of desserts is rattled away by one of the owners who will explain what each one is. And very nice too!
These make a very special ending to a very special meal. The French call them choux a la crĂ¨me, buns filled with cream and covered in chocolate sauce. FBA Â– The difference is that these were Â“decorated with chocolate sauce and accompanied by whipped cream and ice cream. Very rich and just what was needed to round off the meal.
Team Score Â– 10/10
It looked like a lonely slice of cake served with a generous portion of whipped cream decorating a well presented plate. FBA Â– In reality it was really, really nice, it was moist, very pleasant to the palate and the combination of the cream with the chocolate cream inside the cake was a very wicked concoction for those who may be trying to slim.
Team Score Â– 10/10
At this point we were offered some chupitos of Â“LimoncelloÂ”; a traditional Neapolitan Liqueur made with lemon and served ice cold. Very refreshing and it hits the spot.
In conclusion, I can only congratulate owners Franco, Angelo and Mario, not only is their restaurant an excellent Italian restaurant, but it is clearly run with pride and the sole object of pleasing all their customers.
For the quality of food and service being offered, I think the price is excellent value for money, one thing is certain, you must BOOK in advance because there is always the chance it might be full up, as it was when we went. The location is an added bonus and you could start to think that you might be in a restaurant near Naples.
We had no problem parking at the car park at the end of the second line.
I will certainly go back there, even if it is just for a pizza and everyone else in the group have said the same.