I’m notoriously hard to please when it comes to Italian food, having had the benefit of 30+ years of family cooking so for me to go back to an Italian restaurant must mean they’re doing something right.
Tucked away in the heart of Hampton Vale (next door to the Moorhen pub) is Mattoni, Hampton’s first Italian restaurant (incidentally “mattoni” is Italian for “brick”, a nod to the brick yard heritage of the land Hampton is built on). Taking over from what was a South American restaurant, Mattoni has had some sprucing up both in the interior design and more importantly in the kitchen where an Italian chef is now in charge of the food.
This review is actually based on our second visit to Mattoni, we forgot to take photos the first time so forced ourselves to go back – such a hard life! Unfortunately the photos I took this time are pretty poor quality but hopefully they will give you an idea of what to expect from the menu.
We stopped by after work and as it was mid week, the restaurant was only about half full. We were shown to a table straight away and given some time to read the menus.
After hearing some good comments about the homemade bread at Mattoni we decided to choose a starter of bread and olives to share. As this was only a single portion we hadn’t expected so many olives but we were not about to complain! The bread was delicious, almost pizza like and not at all what I had expected.
On to our mains and I ordered an American Hot pizza whilst my wife opted for spaghetti with polpette.
The pizza for me was far better than I expected, certainly better than typical chain restaurant and takeaway pizzerias. The base was very good and had a good tomato sauce. Plenty of topping although if you like your food spicy, the American Hot won’t do. Next time I’ll ask for mine to be made even spicier!
The spaghetti polpette came with generously sized meatballs and a really fresh tasting tomato sauce. From what I managed to taste of the dish (I had to barter with a slice of pizza) the pasta was well cooked and meatballs were very moreish.
Prices were reasonable and I feel justified by the quality of the food. I’ve certainly paid more in other restaurants (and received less).
We didn’t have any desserts but I ended the meal with a coffee – as is traditional after an Italian meal!
Ambience: 6/10 mid week, 9/10 Thurs/Fri/Sat
For a restaurant tucked away in Hampton, Mattoni is a serious contender and one other Italian restaurants in Peterborough should keep an eye on.