Ginny Sanderson samples a taste of Italy in the heart of Eastbourne.
The authentic taste and laid back style of sunny Italy can be found right here on the south coast in Eastbourne. Pomodoro E Mozzarella is a charming restaurant nestled in Cornfield Terrace, just past the town’s war memorial.
It is often full and has a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere with large windows keeping the room bright.
The waiting staff are very pleasant and even a little cheeky at times, with one waiter theatrically pretending he was admiring the painting on the wall while not-so-subtly checking if we were ready to order.
Famished and locked on to our chosen dishes for the evening, we certainly were ready to order.
To start, I ordered the mixed salad - insalata mista, (£3.90) - and, for such a humble-sounding dish, was impressed with how much effort was put into its presentation.
It comes with salad leaves and brightly-coloured cherry tomatoes, pepper, red onion, and carrot. The entire thing is wrapped in a ribbon of cucumber which serves like the edge of a bowl it’s all contained in, and the plate is decorated with a balsamic glaze.
My companion meanwhile went for the asparagi alla parmigiana (£7.40), which is asparagus served with melted butter and grana padano cheese. This is a luxurious dish with the golden butter drizzled over the asparagus spears, oozing deliciousness. It is no small portion – you are given seven chunky spears – and the radish carved to look like a flower is a delicate and pleasing garnish.
Next we ate the mains with focaccina al rosmarino (£3.90) – focaccia bread with fresh rosemary and extra virgin olive oil. This is again a large portion which would be an acceptable side for a small family.
I chose to keep it simple with a spaghetti pomodoro (£7.90), which is a spaghetti in a deep red tomato sauce.
The classic Italian tomato - or, that is, pomodoro - sauce is enhanced with fresh herbs, garlic and the option of parmesan, which I can never turn down.
Meanwhile, the mighty calzone (£10.10) my friend ordered was a sight indeed. For anyone unfamiliar with a calzone, it is a pizza, filled with tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms, ham, and spicy Italian sausage, and rolled to form a smile-shaped parcel which perhaps (for the English) resembles a large, glorious pasty.
This dish was enormous, but delicious and rich enough for my friend to clear the whole plate.
To round off the meal there is really no better option than to try some of the restaurant’s gelato, which is freshly made regularly on site.
I am sure the rest of the puddings are equally scrumptious but we opted for a fruit salad with ice cream – macedonia di frutta fresca (£5.30) – and a fruits of the forest sundae – coppa arlecchino (£5.40).
Again, the dishes are generous portions and dexterously presented. My fruit salad was perfectly fresh and light, and of course fruit and ice cream are a winning combination.
My friend’s sundae came with a mix of Pomodoro’s magnificent ice creams. The pistachio was just the right amount of creaminess with the hint of the nut’s salt elevating it to a more adult flavour. This is balanced with sweet vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream and rich fruits of the forest and served delightfully in a glass with a crisp wafer.
Pomodoro excels itself with its high quality, very affordable food served in generous portions and clearly presented with care. But it is also the warm attitude of the team there that shows a real (deserved) pride in what it does and makes this a place that I will be going back to very soon.
Pomodoro E Mozzarella, 23-25 Cornfield Terrace, Eastbourne, BN21 4NS 01323 733800
This first featured in the July edition of etc Magazine pick up your copy now.