I do love it when I can combine two of my greatest passions: food and art. There are a number of posts on this blog where I’ve gone to an art gallery and followed it up with a great meal. This evening’s venture along London’s Southbank to Tate Modern didn’t offer a promising prospect for food. The once fabulous Tate Restaurant wasn’t quite so fabulous last time I went, and anyway isn’t open for dinner on Tuesdays. The surrounding area offers lots of chains. I’d planned to take a look around for somewhere to eat, arriving quite early for the Curator’s Talk on the new Modigliani exhibition at Tate Modern, but as I walked along the embankment from Waterloo to Tate Modern, the bitter wind cut into me and I knew I needed to find somewhere warm and welcoming, close to the gallery, fast.
I considered Carluccio’s which is about as close to Tate as you’ll find, but lights just round the corner beckoned and I thought I’d take a quick look. I saw Capricci. I did a quick search on my iPhone and reviews were great. So I went in.
It’s quite small and free tables had ‘Reserved’ signs on them, but I was told I could take a seat at a large table or a stool at a bar in the deli area. I chose the table and settled down.
Capricci offers all-day dining and also has a deli. They pride themselves on using highest quality ingredients and offer wines from small artisanal micro producers. Open from 8.00-22.30 Mon-Fri; 10.00-23.00 on Saturdays; 10.00-22.30 on Sundays.
I decided on a ‘Primi’ dish of Gnocchi all’Amatriciana – Artisan potato dumplings with smoked pancetta and pecorino cheese in a lightly spiced tomato sauce (£14.00) – for a light supper; it was early to eat, before 6.00, and I didn’t anyway want a huge meal before the Modigliani talk. While I waited for my food, I enjoyed some delicious crispy grissini that came with my glass of excellent wine – Valpolicella Classico ‘Saseti’, 2014 Monte Dall’Ora (Veneto) (£6.60 for 125ml glass).
The gnocchi came. It had enough of a chilli kick to be absolutely perfect to aid my recovery from the freezing weather outside. It was really good; excellent. The sauce was delicious, everything perfectly cooked, and I enjoyed it a lot.
I rarely have dessert when out but I still had plenty of time before the talk and I didn’t want to wander around outside, so I decided on dessert and coffee. I chose Tiramisu. This was quite a testing choice – I’m really fussy about my tiramisu. It’s a much abused dessert and rare to find an authentic one, but then when you do find one it just has to be one of the best desserts ever.
Capricci’s tiramisu was glorious, really good. I followed it with an espresso.
And then it was time to brave the cold again! Fortunately it wasn’t far at all as Capricci is almost next door to the gallery.
Held in Tate Modern’s Starr Cinema/theatre, the talk must have been sold out as it was packed. The exhibition, which only opened last week, has received rave reviews. I like going to Curator’s talks as you learn so much that enhances the experience of actually looking at the paintings, and this one didn’t disappoint and gave us a great background to the artist Modigliani and his works in the exhibition.
At the end of the talk we were able to go into the exhibition for a private view (Tate closed before the talk started), which is a great way to get a good, less crowded view. Apart from Modigliani’s paintings, including a number of his famous nudes, there was a wonderful selection of his sculptures – ten of them and apparently only about 30 exist. It’s a fabulous exhibition and on until 2 April 2018, so get along if you can. Meanwhile, I’m really pleased to have found such a great place to eat nearby – open for breakfast, lunch or dinner, timing will always be right at Capricci.