Ferrari’s in Bexley Village has the look of a bijou restaurant but looks can be deceiving, as I recently found out. The intimate dining area at the front of the restaurant gives way to a much larger space just beyond the bar, perfect for parties. I have visions of large family groups enjoying lazy lunches - very Italian. As is the interior, with its hand-printed Italian wallpaper, bespoke lighting and artworks, and of course a welcoming, relaxed Italian atmosphere. It’s a place to eat, drink and enjoy the Italian way.
I’m here to meet head chef, Edoardo Pasquini, to find out what makes this Italian restaurant so popular with the locals and those from further afield. Edoardo greets me with a friendly smile and a very English accent. Surprised, he explains how he was born in Italy to an Italian father and English mother, and grew up in the beautiful Tuscan region. With a love of good food from an early age he had a desire to become a chef and studied catering at the Instituto Alberghiero G. Minuto Marina Di Carrara. From there, he worked at several restaurants in both the Ligurian and Tuscan coast before he moved to London to work in a number of top-flight establishments.
Four years ago, Edoardo joined Ferrari’s and with his Italian roots and catering expertise, it’s a perfect synergy. He brings an authentic touch to the menu, which includes a variety of traditional popular dishes and contemporary Italian inspired dishes. Ferrari’s is more than just pizza and pasta, Edoardo has a passion for the true taste of Italy and this menu reflects this with such dishes as Fesa D’agnello – Lamb rump with caponata of aubergines, capers and olives, served with potato cake and a rich red wine sauce. A favourite dish with many of the diners is Porchetta pressata - pressed pork belly with rosemary and garlic served with mustard mash and a creamy cider infused sauce.
He reiterates the importance of the authentic flavours of the food and insists on only using fresh produce, whether that’s fresh tomatoes from Italy (because they are the best!), or fresh, hand-made gnocchi or salsa verde; even the traditional Italian desserts are made fresh, in-house. Most of the seasonal produce is sourced locally from Kent farms, while the fresh fish comes from Chapman’s in Sevenoaks. By using local companies Edoardo can be sure of their providence and consistent quality.
Recently introduced are the regional specials, a little bit of Italy on a plate - its culture and history. Edoardo, as he says, likes to tell a story. In this case, each month, a special dish on the menu will do just that. Italians love to celebrate, with ‘any excuse to eat’, as Edoardo explains their love of eating, whatever the reason. For June, to mark La Festa di San Giovanni (St. John) patron saint of Florence, Genoa and Turin, Edoardo has created a suitable dish to reflect the Como region - Polenta di St Giovanni (game sausage casserole). For July, The Palio di Siena, a famous horse race held in the Piazza del Campo in the centre of Siena, the dish Pappardelle, braised hare with ribbons of fresh pasta in a ragu sauce. Of course, wine plays an important role with any Italian meal, and Ferrari’s wine list won’t disappoint the keenest wine buff with its selection of European wines. I was also impressed by the selection of cocktails, the house favourite of Chambord, raspberry vodka, topped with Champagne would be perfect on a warm Summers evening.
The Ferrari’s Club offers regular customers up-to-date information on events and exclusive offers and benefits. On joining, your first reward: a free glass of Prosecco for you and your guests when you next dine at Ferrari’s.