Saturday, 5 March 2011

Dadas: Good on Paper.

Yesterday I visited a bar/ restaurant in New Penteli: Dadas. They don't seem to have a website, but here are some related links:

It was cold night and I arrived late at New Penteli Square. Not knowing that I was late I waited outside Dadas for my company to arrive. Luckily they called me before it occurred to me to call them because they were already inside!

As I entered Dadas, the first thing that hit me was the warmth of the place. I'm not just talking temperature (though we were sat next to a wonderful, lit fireplace), but something about the lighting, the hum of people talking or the correctly volumed music called "sit down, get comfy and relax" to me. Apparently, (because we were sat in the first half), the space is split into the bar-y half and the restaurant-y half. One with louder music and more people standing up and the other with more tables and lower music.

Since the others had been already waiting for a while, I got immediately handed the menu. Two pages long, modern food items with very appetising descriptions! I eventually went for the Carbonara, which was more or less described as "Casarecci carobonara with pancetta, freerange eggs, pepper and pecorino". I thought to myself, these people has the description spot on. Emphasis on the egg, Pecorino instead of Parmesan which is often incorrectly used, pancetta instead not bacon and ground pepper. We also order an arugula salad, home made crisps and some sort of soufflé to share (I should know, but I was to busy thinking about my pasta).

The salad was very nice (and I always say you can judge a place by its salads). Makes me wish I has paid more attention to what was in it! The crisps were also great (not to say much can go wrong in thin slicing and deep frying potatoes). The soufflé was ok: a baked cheesy floury mixture. And now the pasta... (deep sigh...).

The pasta was Linguine instead of Casarecci. Nothing remotely eggy, peppery or cheesy about the pasta. The pancetta I can't complain about. I could see loads of it and there was a thick layer of fat from it on the bottom of the place and all over the pasta (and that's the best case scenario. The worst case would be that it was butter from buttered pasta!). Unfortunately I couldn't taste that either (although it did remind me a bit of the bacon in bacon cheese sauce they put on chips in TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesdays and the lot) - I do wish they'd put in the effort of browning it first.

I'm not saying I wouldn't go there again (though its nothing to go out of ones way for): the other dishes looked good, and I heard no complaints (though the portions did seem on the lower end or 'large enough'). If they are good (which is what I'll be going to find) that would put the price to quality ration of the place in marginally acceptable territory.

What I am just saying is: change the menu or change the recipe!

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