Antonietta, first look
Updated: Dec 4, 2022
Antonietta is the revamped La Favorita on Leith Walk, which as its name intended, became a well-loved, dependable pizza place.
At the freshly-painted Antonietta, walls and fabrics are acid coral, pink and green whereas tableware is hand-painted pottery in Mediterranean blues, fiery reds, and sunshine ochre. The first assaults the senses, the latter warms them by evoking leisurely dining in the Tuscan countryside. Both at once however, feels discordant and this hit and miss theme extends to the food.
Lea and I are lucky enough to be seated with two other like-minded foodies at the ‘VIP’ opening night so we can all compare notes on the many cocktails and dishes that we order.
First up, Kirsty’s Arancini reveals deliciously moist risotto inside but would benefit from more tomato sauce for mopping up. Lea’s Bresaola is well presented, rare and juicy enough to satisfying any carnivore cravings. Adele and I have Bruschetta which, contrary to a fundamental rule of Italian cuisine, has multiple ingredients. I conclude that the mix of kale, burrata, prosciutto, orange segments and pomegranate seeds is more about colour than taste.
For mains Lea’s Crab Linguini is a decent plate of pasta as is Adele’s and Kirsty’s ‘Nduja Vibes’, fiery pasta with sausage and mozzarella. My Festa Del Mare pizza is disappointing. Again, there is too much going on what with squid (nicely cooked), crab, skinny samphire, pesto and lemon. I did think twice about ordering it but was seduced by the promise of seafood and the non-materialising lemon which I thought may elevate the whole dish. The well-fired blistered base is good as are crispy Zucchini Fries and moreish Truffle Fries.
For dolce Adele and I enjoy boozy Tiramisu and Kirsty raves about her generous portion of salted caramel ice-cream. Lea’s giant Cannolo however is hard, overcooked and poorly presented.
I am left craving simple, confident Italian cooking but my criticism is tempered by Adele and Kirsty who comment, that for a simple supper on the way home from work or a night out with the girls, Antonietta may well appeal. They are of course correct. Antonietta’s 'insta'-friendly vibe, pumping music and price point will suit a lively young crowd hence the many influencers present at the opening.
‘Slushtails’ include Limoncello, Pink Gin and Raspberry and Amaretto and Orange Margarita versions. Lea puts away a fair few of the latter while I have the ‘cocktail du jour’ Negroni Sbagliato .
Antonietta joins the venues owned by the estimable Crolla family which includes Vittoria (x2), Bertie’s and Divino and given this pedigree, Antonietta it may yet find its feet.