Verde – Pizzeria and Trattoria – Oxford
Verde serve authentic Italian cuisine, and offer an extensive menu featuring many classic Italian dishes including a good selection of freshly stone-baked, thin crust Pizza’s, fish and meat dishes, pastas, salads and sharing platters.
For something a little extra, Verde host regular events for their diners, including live music on a Sunday evening, the occasional Opera dinner and an Italian cookery school for children.
Monday – Thursday: 11:45am – 10:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:45am – 10:30pm
Sunday: 11:45am – 10:00pm
Verde Menu Selection:
FOCCACIA CON AGLIO E MOZZARELLA – garlic bread and Mozzarella
BIANCHETTI – whitebait, deep fried, with salad, lemon and tartare sauce
FUNGHI RIPIENI – stuffed portobello mushroom, with oregano, breadcrumbs and parmesan
SPAGHETTI CARBONARA – spaghetti with onion, bacon, egg, parmesan and white wine sauce
FETTUCCINI SALMONE E ZUCCHINE – salmon with courgettes, tomato and cream sauce, chilli and basil
ANATRA ARANCIONE – duck breast, pan fried in orange, honey and green peppercorn, with mash potatoes and vegetables
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Me and my partner decided to try out Verde last night, (a wednesday in November) as it was a participating restaurant for the tastecard discount card which entitled us to a 50% discount on the food bill, which we thought is a good enough excuse to go out for dinner.
We pre-booked the restaurant for 7:30, but we arrived early and managed to park almost right opposite which in itself can be a difficult task on the Cowley road, first impressions of the restaurant were good, as you enter there is a large square bar area at the top end with the front of house reception to the side of the bar, the kitchen is located at the opposite end and is open plan. Although one may not expect it from the outside, the restaurant itself is well decorated and feels authentically Italian inside.
We were welcomed and asked where we wanted to sit; the restaurant was almost empty so we chose a nice table against the side wall, but before I got too comfortable I had to visit the toilet, the first thing I noticed…. Taps not working in the gents, really not a good sign in a restaurant !
I sat back down and the waitress took our drinks order, We ordered a pint of Peroni and a small coke and browsed the menu. Our drinks arrived and after being asked 3 times if we were ready to order our meals we finally decided on, Funghi Ripieni and Bruschetta for starters (The Bruschetta wasn’t on the menu, but they happily agreed to make one) and Veal cutlet and Spaghetti Bolognese for main courses.
As soon as we ordered our food some more people came in, and despite the restaurant being almost completely empty, were seated right next to us… Is it just me, or does this always happen when you want a nice quiet meal ?!
The starters arrived very quickly indeed, my Funghi Ripieni was a large portabello mushroom with a thick layer of breadcrumbs and parmesan on the top, my partners Bruschetta was a piece of bread, with some sliced tomatoes on top.. nothing more. The mushroom was well presented, and tasted delicious; soft, not too watery and the the breadcrumbs on top were crunchy which added a nice texture.
The starters were cleared away and we waited for our main course… for all of what seemed like 5 minutes, whilst we were both hungry, I always prefer to have a little time between courses, but this was super quick and we felt a little rushed.
My Veal cutlet arrived and I was looking forward to trying Veal for the first time, the meat was very thin, topped with a little Parma ham and then drenched in a white wine and pepper sauce, with a large portion of chips and some salad to accompany it. I found the whole dish uninspiring, the Veal, whilst quite tender and well cooked, wasn’t very lean, and the sauce completely overpowered the taste of the meat. At almost £14 for this dish I felt a little cheated, it’s what I would have expected in a cheap pub not in a restaurant.
My partner on the other hand thoroughly enjoyed her Spaghetti Bolognese, it’s her favourite dish which she has had many times, and she commented on how good it was.
I left the restaurant feeling a little disheartened, had we paid full price for the dinner I would have been very disappointed, the whole experience was very rushed, there was no effort gone into making the Bruschetta, the Veal dish wasn’t particularly interesting and to have no working taps in the toilets is frankly not on.
Perhaps we simply picked the wrong night, and maybe chose the wrong dishes. But the experience left us both saying that we will not be returning to Verde any time soon.