Restaurant review: QuattroBy David Millward
December 12, 2012
One thing Reading is not short of is Italian restaurants but some are more authentic than others.
Quattro can boast a good pedigree in Italian cuisine having served the good people of Caversham and beyond for 28 years.
Owners Ossi Haxhilari and brother Isan have run Quattro for the last decade, after taking over from Nino Bartolomei, the founder of Nino’s in Market Place, Reading.
Ossi Haxhilari had worked for Nino for 15 years before venturing out on his own.
The Prospect Street restaurant has recently undergone a make-over and is now looking fresher and more contemporary inside.
My dinner guest and I received a warm welcome when we entered the restaurant and we were quickly presented with focaccia bread (£3.70) and olives (£2.90) to nibble on while we looked at the wine menu.
There is a sensibly-sized selection of wines ranging from the house at £14.90 to £37.95 for an Amarone. We went for the red Vino della Casa from Sicily which was soft and fruity and went down very well.
For starters vegetarians have a good choice and I went for the Funghi Ripieni (£6.70). The dish consisted of a very large, breaded field mushroom filled with mixed cheeses and drizzled with garlic and olive oil.
It felt rather indulgent as melted cheese oozed out of the mushroom and it tasted gorgeous, but I have to warn you, it is not a light starter by any means.
Meat eaters would also be satisfied with Italian beef meatballs, prawns and avocado salad or Parma ham.
My partner went for the Gamberoni (£7.95), a dish of pan fried king prawns with white wine, garlic butter and parsley.
It was very well cooked and there was attention to detail with a plate for the shells and a finger bowl which can often, surprisingly, be lacking.
We decided to take a short break before embarking on our main courses after over-indulging in the focaccia, olives and my giant breaded mushroom.
It was a tough choice deciding what to order for my second course. I could have gone for a classic pasta dish, a risotto, a freshly made pizza, one of the daily specials or a main dish with vegetable and potato.
We both decided to go for the latter option with me choosing the Salmone (£16.95) and my partner going for the Bistecca Quattro (£17.50).
My salmon was perfectly cooked with prawns in a creamy white wine sauce and my partner’s sirloin steak was served with mushrooms and a red wine sauce.
Initially, he found the dark looking sauce which covered the meat a little daunting but he said it was not as overpowering as it looked.
The accompanying vegetables were peppers, carrots, aubergine, courgette and parsnip.
Ossi explained the vegetables change along with the seasons and are sourced from a local supplier.
It is also good to know the meat is supplied locally too, coming from award-winning butchers Jenning’s of Caversham.
Homemade desserts were tempting with Panna cotta, chocolate truffle torte and crème brulée among the choices.
Neither of us could find the room so we opted for an Amaretto liqueur instead.
Ossi was an attentive host to all the customers who were in on a rather chilly winter Tuesday night.
He and his brother have built up a large customer base over the years and he says he will not cut corners or compromise on quality to pull in diners. And the great thing is you can have a quality meal at Quattro without breaking the bank.
A pasta dish will set you back just under £10 and all the thin crust pizzas are under a tenner.
There is also a lunchtime set menu with two courses costing £9.95 or three courses at £11.95 and a three course Christmas menu is being offered at £24.95.
- Website: www.quatro-restaurant.co.uk
- Address: Quattro
14 Prospect Street