My book group met for a meal recently at Adesso, a Sicilian restaurant on Hill Rise in Richmond. Unfortunately I couldn’t make that meal but suggested Adesso as a place to meet to my friend Liz last night. The reports back from the book group had been a bit mixed so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect but Liz was willing to give it a try so we did.
I booked for 7.00pm and it was quiet when I arrived. To one side of the restaurant shelves were filled with Italian groceries as Adesso has a deli next door where you can buy food or stop by for a coffee or snack. The shelves acted as a dividing wall.
We were brought some complimentary focaccia with our wine (a glass each of Sauvignon Blanc).
We decided to share two starters on the ‘Specials’ menu. One was the Sicilian antipasto with pistachio salami, Parma ham, pecorino cheese, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and olives. It was good and the olives were so good I might go back and buy some in the deli.
Our other starter choice was ‘Arancino’ – a deep-fried rice ball filled with mozzarella and spinach and served with a sauce (there was also a ‘filled with Bolognese sauce’ choice). There was only one for £7.50 but it was big (they generally are) so fine for us to cut in half and share as part of our starter. Arancini are really Sicilian street food, sold from stalls and eaten hot and freshly cooked – not usually with sauce. But it was tasty (though could have done with slightly more seasoning) and we enjoyed it.
Liz chose spaghetti with Sicilian sausage in a tomato sauce for her main, which she said was good.
I chose a dish from the ‘Specials’ menu – paccheri with large king prawns, small prawns, cherry tomatoes and a hint of chilli.
It was very good. The pasta was cooked to a nice al dente bite. Two large prawns needed shelling (a lemony wipe in a sachet was provided) and were delicious – softly tender and sweet.
They were generous sized dishes so we didn’t have room for dessert, though I was momentarily tempted to try their cannoli, a Sicilian speciality. I settled instead for an espresso – and it was good coffee – while Liz had a mint tea.
The bill came to £63. Service wasn’t included so we added some and paid £35 each, which we thought was very reasonable for what we’d had.
We both liked Adesso and I think we’re very likely to go back sometime – Richmond is a good halfway meeting point for us. This isn’t fine dining; it’s simple but well prepared trattoria food. Looking at the menu I felt there’d been a small amount of anglicisation to its Sicilian heritage but the important thing was we enjoyed our meal. The service was also friendly and attentive. There was music playing in the background that seemed quite loud when I arrived, but then we didn’t really notice while we talked and ate.