Restaurant Review: C’Alice, Fulham in London
For anyone who doesn’t live in Fulham, Munster Road doesn’t offer itself as the most convenient of locations. Although half way up a residential street, within the heart of this sleepy borough, Munster Road has recently found itself a new Italian acquaintance. Owned by Alice Ravelli and Giovanni Di Stefano who also happen to be married (but from polar ends of Italy); they have introduced an Italian restaurant, full of diversity to west London.
With a focus on Italian street food, and before even the prospect of a first course, their ‘Alice Appetizers’ include an Arancini Mix, Caponata (Aubergine), Calamari Fritti and Patè Mix; no dough balls to be found on this Italian menu. Finished with bright purple pansies (the edible ones) their beautifully finished scallops are an option that competes with the taste. Moving on to Primi Piatti (pasta and risotto… yes they have their very own course), gnocci is rich and tasty and a sausage spaghetti was creamy but hugely filling. As you can imagine, by this time our stomachs were quickly filling up: we clearly can’t keep up with this Italian lot.
Main courses are what I imagine to be proper homemade Italian grub. Stewed meat with a side of creamy, yellow risotto is comforting and just about manageable.. if you don’t go too crazy for your previous serving of pasta. A Laissez Faire steak, juicy and pink, is laid bare on a black slate; served simply with caramelised onions and a few boiled potatoes. Don’t ask how I got there, but I did – the tempting menu to finish resulted in an order of a ‘Il tortino di Alice’ or chocolat fondant with vanilla ice cream; a decadent ending which had to be shared.
The chef Carla Murgioni’s menu includes a mix of specialties for the local audience of C’Alice. Fromaggi di C’Alice (C’Alice’s selection of cold cuts or cheeses) to start or their freshly made risotto de giorno of the day are proud signatures. The Italian influence doesn’t just end with the food. To perfectly complement each and every dish on the food menu, the wine list features a whole selection of Italian wines from all regions of the country. With particular focus on high quality producers, (Gaja, Sassicaia, Tignanello), Sicilian excellences (Donnafugata, Tasca d’Almerita and others) and Sparkling Franciacorta (Ca’ del Bosco). It is made clear to us that C’Alice is just about the wine as they are about the food, these all served by the glass and or the bottle. For those with a taste for cocktails the bar also serves up Italian cocktails such as the Prosecco based Spritz, sweet wines or ‘aperitivi’.
‘Wine, food, talk’ is the strap line for this Italian newbie which opened in May this year. It encompasses the couple’s vision for C’Alice as a ‘hub for friends and families to enjoy relaxed Italian fare with an array of Sicilian wines to while away the evenings’; this laid back attitude suits their local crowd reasonably well. Intrigued to try out the new kid on the block, C’Alice is leading west Londoners, who are tired of the traditional Italian’s that sit on every other corner, and that simply serve up pizza or pasta, on an authentic Italian tour from the North to the South.. And probably back again for more.
Address: 199 Munster Rd, London SW6 6BX, 020 7385 4302, calicerestaurant.com.