Review of 'Villa di Geggiano'

Living nearby we have many times passed by “Villa di Geggiano”, looking through the gates into it's walled courtyard with outdoor seating (in the warmer weather) and the glass doors beyond of the restaurant itself, wondering what it was like. The menu posted outside certainly looked quite good and not too expensive, but was the food any good? Short answer: Yes. Long answer…

The Lounge

It was my wife's birthday and, as is tradition, she wanted to try somewhere local so picked the Villa. Our luck with this tradition has often been mixed but in this case she was spot on. To begin with, we were early for our 6 pm reservation on a miserably rainy Sunday but the staff graciously opened the gates and showed us into “The Lounge”, located opposite the bar just inside the restaurant, for pre-dinner drinks. This is an amazing comfy space full of an eclectic mix of both furniture and art (much of which appears to be for sale). We were given some rather tasty mixed nuts and had a drink or too as we unwound for what would be a relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable dinner…

Interior

The main section of the restaurant is very nicely appointed with a clear view through a long rectangular opening into the kitchen. A piano in the far corner suggests on busier nights the space would be filled with music and the voices of contented diners. We were seated against the wall opposite the kitchen so had a clear view of all that would happen over the course of the evening. The rather large menu charmingly begins with a short history of the villa – The original, of course, being located in Tuscany, Italy, and is much renowned for it's wines. The menu is divided into obviously Italian sections: Antipasti (starters), Primi (generally, pasta, with small and large portions), Secondi (larger plates), Contorni E Insalate (sides), then Dolci (deserts) with the intention you work your way through each. We were not about to disappoint them.

Bread Selection

We started with the “Selezione di Pane, Focaccia e Grissini” (“Selection of Homemade Bread, Focaccia and Bread-Sticks”; £2) which was absolutely superb – The breadsticks extremely crunchy and the focaccia deliciously moist yet not overly oily as can be the want. The balsamic vinegar was delicious without being harsh and the olive oil full of floral notes offered a great dip. We also ordered “Olive Verdi Marinate da Nocellara del Belice” (“Marinated Green Olives from Nocellara”; £2) which were also delicious without the bitter, salty flavour of lesser olives.

Of course, at £2 each, these two dishes were the cheapest of the lot and the meal started to get far more expensive…

Pumpkin Ravioli

My companion started with the small portion of “Ravioli di Zucca con Guanciale, Radicchio e Ricotta Salata” (“Pumpkin Ravioli served with Pork Guanciale, Radicchio and Salted Ricotta”; £12 small/£16 large) which was absolutely delicious and looked wonderful on the plate. Not overly sweet with the pasta cooked perfectly.

Venison Tagliatelle (small)

I started with what we both agreed to be the star dish of the meal, the small portion of “Pappardelle al Cinghiale” (“Tuscan Wild Boar Pappardelle Pasta”; £11 small/£18 large) which was absolutely amazing particularly with the freshly grated Parmesan cheese provided by our helpful waiter (we were his first even table so his manager was forever hovering over to make sure things were handled correctly). The pasta was al dente but it was the creamy, flavoursome venison that dominated here - Absolutely delicious without any hint of gaminess or the over-seasoning that can often happen with over-eager chefs. The small portion was deceptive - This was a very filling dish with it's incredible richness. Absolutely delicious.

Rib-Eye

For our mains, which were delivered the perfect amount of time after completing our pasta, I had the “Fracosta di Manzo Alla Griglia” (“Rib-eye Steak (300g) 28-day dry-aged served with Lettuce, Baby Spinach, Almonds and Cranberries Salad”; £32) which was cooked as I directed, medium rare (and not a second more). The steak was lovely and tender, full of flavour and a good sized portion. The jus provided on the side added a good amount of moisture to the meat but accented rather than overpowered the taste of the meat. The salad was a bit small, perched off to one corner of the square, marble-like flat plate but refreshing.

Seabass Fillet

My companion had the “Filetto di Branzino con Patate, Carciofi e Melograno” (“Seabass Fillet served with Potatoes, Artichokes and Pomegranate”; £24) which was delicate and not overcooked. The pomegranate added a bit of crunch to such a soft dish and a sharp bit of sweetness.

Chocolate Mousse

At this point we were both pleasantly enjoying what we had been given though not overfull with the nicely sized portions that can come before. It took little persuading for us to have a look at the “dolci”. Quite unlike me I decided to go for the chocolate heavy “Mezzasfera al Cioccolato con Gelatina All’Arancia Rossa” (“Semi-Spherical Milk Chocolate Mousse with Blood Orange Jelly”; £7) which was absolutely delicious and, surprisingly, not as sweet as may have been thought. The chocolate sphere was perfectly tempered with the bitterness of the chocolate countered by the sharpness of the thin slice of dried orange. The jelly provided a sweet note that complemented the rest of the dish.

Raspberry Bigne'

My companion, having first looked up what a “Bigne'” was (“bignet” more relevantly), ordered the “Bigne’ ai Lamponi e Salsa Calda al Cioccolato Bianco” (“Custard and Raspberry Bigne’ served with Hot White Chocolate Sauce”; £7) which was interestingly plated with four of the choux pastries at compass points on the lip of the bowl with the sauce in the middle. Wonderful though I only know this from reports as I did not have a chance to taste as it disappeared so quickly.

For drinks we pretty much stuck to the house sparkling water (charged, it seems, at £1 a head for bottomless bottles that magically kept appearing on the table when depleted) though did have the “passionate sling” (£6.95) which was quite nice and refreshing while my companion had a rather pleasant (so she says) glass of “Chianti Classico” (glass £8) which she declared was very good indeed (high praise from a picky wine drinker). A perfectly executed latte (£3.50) at the end of the meal well and truly topped off the evening.

At just over £140 for the two of us (including a service charge of 12.5%), this was an expensive meal though when you consider we had, effectively, four courses and drinks each you cannot complain too much. The service was top notch, being there only when required and not hovering over us - Warm and helpful without being overbearing in any way which made us feel welcome and comfortable at all times. Generally we were left much to ourselves to enjoy the exceptional meal and the company which is really what we look for in a restaurant.

Interior - Piano

As we were leaving we noted about the unusual modern art on the wall and the maitre'd showed us into the “The Art Room” space at the front of the restaurant which was set up with a single long table with seating for about 30 people and lined with yet more of the art which we were told rotates on a regular basis (most of these pieces had, indeed, already been sold). This private area would be great for parties.

We look forward to returning once again to Tuscany…in Chiswick at the “Villa di Geggiano”.

Rating:

Review Date: 2019-10-20


Cuisine: Italian

Address: 66-68 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick, London W4 1SY ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Chiswick Park, TUBE Hammersmith

Location: London (England) - Chiswick

Map:

 

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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3384 9442

URL: http://www.villadigeggiano.co.uk/