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Buona Sera, Clapham, date night

Our in laws had come down to visit us but more particularly their beloved grandson so we availed ourselves of their offer to babysit and had a night out. As it turned out our friend Peta who had introduced me to my lovely wife was having some farewell drinks at "The Establishment" on Battersea Rise that night. So we set out on clear summer's night knowing our little boy was being well looked after for some much needed R&R. We hadn't planned to eat as we had had a very nice family lunch at "Maximini" earlier on. However once we got to the bar and had a few drinks we thought it best to grab something. The thought of dealing with a 7 week old baby wilst trying to shed a hangover was not grabbing us. We stayed at "The Establishment" for a couple of hours and then headed off with the recommendation of trying a couple of places on Northcote Rd

Clapham was really jumping on this Saturday night everywhere was packed and people were having a lot of fun. "Bueno Sera" was particularly busy but it looked very enticing with it's patio setting, open windows and simple but stylish all white decor. We decided to pop in and try for a table. In my experience you can normally get a table for two most places if you are prepared for a short wait. As it turned out we only waited 10 minutes before being shown to a lovely table inside but by the open window. The restaurant may have been busy but we were seved pretty promptly. I ordered the speciality mushroom, sausage and cheese risotto of the day whilst my wife went for some penne. We were still quite full from lunch so we skipped starters and sides.

We ordered a couple of glasses of red wine and really started to relax. Buona Sera is one of these great places that makes you think you are abroad on holiday. The food arrived and was very nice. I really enjoyed my risotto which despite it's ingredients was not heavy or stodgy. My wife's penne was particularly good, really tasty. The restaurant was still bustling away and they were still taking in bookings at 10PM. We got chatting to our waiter who said it started quietening down by midnight but it had been full on busy there all day. We skipped dessert as we thought it would be best to relieve the dutifull grandparents. However the very kind waiter brought us a glass of Limoncello each to celebrate our first night out since the becoming parents. A very nice touch.

The bill came to under £40 which was fantastic value. I can see why this place is so popular with the Clapham crowd. As I've said before it can be a real challenge finding somewhere that does good italian food at reasonable prices. Buona Sera really fits the bill. Good food, professional service and a friendly atmosphere. I am very keen to pop back for a proper meal. To cap the evening off we got a cab straight after leaving the restaurant, result!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Overall rating
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8

The Hillgate, Notting Hill, another local

Byron, High St Kensington, a thoroughly miserable visit, not their finest branch