With simple, fresh and traditional Italian food, L’Assaggino makes for the perfect eatery for any and all dinner occasions

Words Anabela Koleci

L’Assaggino brings the flavours and authenticity of Italy directly to the heart of Richmond. Its location on a rustic side road and the small and cosy interior of the restaurant itself gives off the feeling of a family run restaurant in Sicily.

The warm and welcoming staff only add to the Italian illusion, and as we sit down, they make sure we are fully informed about the large selection of fresh pasta they make in-house as well as the fresh and carefully sourced ingredients used in each dish, and we fully relax into the setting that has small tables placed close to each other for intimacy. The menu is typically Italian, offering traditional pasta dishes and risottos that are beautifully crafted and contain all the love and flavour you’d expect to find in Italy.

l'assaggino

The evening begins with a selection of flavoursome starters. There is fresh bread for dipping in a tangy and thick tomato sauce and an oozing burrata, bursting with a rich and creamy centre. This is accompanied by a sharp traditional Sicilian caponata, consisting mainly of aubergine, which plays off the creaminess of the cheese to provide the seasoning and saltiness that the burrata lacks. Our final starter is a zesty octopus salad, which complements and rounds off the first courses nicely.

For our main course, the staff recommend two of the most popular dishes on the menu – the pappardelle al ragu di Agnello, a stew where lamb is carefully marinated in a well-rounded herb mix for six to eight hours and served over fresh pasta. The lamb itself is melt-in-the-mouth and tender. The other recommendation is tagliolini con pesto di mare, and it’s clear why it’s such a popular dish. Filled to the brim with only the freshest of seafood, it boasts baby prawns, mussels, squid and clams atop a bed of fresh tagliolini: in short, any seafood lovers dream. Both dishes are accompanied with a glass of tasteful wine, that complement the intricate flavours of the dishes.

L’assaggino is perfect if you’re looking for the “fresh food, simple ingredients and good wine” of Italy – at a very reasonable price. It’s a truly romantic setting, where you are well looked after and all of the food is simple and delicious.

Visit 9 Paved Court, Richmond TW9 1LZ lassaggino.co.uk