There’s a few restaurants in Bristol that are high on the MUST EAT AT list. One is Pasta Ripiena, sister restaurant to Pasta Loco. This isn’t a place where you can casually swing by and hope there’s a table. I booked our table a good two months in advance and even then it was ‘we can squeeze you in’ despite it being a mid week booking!
Ripiena means stuffed in Italian and this is the focus of the menu. Beautifully handcrafted pasta filled with a combination of ingredients. The menu is small yet sufficient and offers something for everyone. The menu changes both for lunch and dinner and in fact changes daily dependent on what is available.
Sadly, the note that JB couldn’t have cows milk didn’t make the reservation however after a word with the chef, they were able to offer several options. To start we opted for the fresh, fluffy focaccia which came with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip into. JB also ordered an Insalata of courgette, fennel, olives and goats cured which was incredibly fresh and light.
I had the Raviloi of Almalfi lemon, mascarpone and potato with salt cod and soft herbs. The lemon was just enough to taste without being too heavy. Overall it was yummy but I’ll admit about half way through I found I got a little bored as the dill was slightly overpowering. This doesn’t deter from the fact that the pasta was excellently made and had just the right ‘bite’ to it which you’d expect from an Italian restaurant!
I have to admit I did have food envy with JBs choice of Cassonceli of dry aged salt marsh lamb, charred gem lettuce and barlotti beans. I found this to have much more flavour than mine and was full of oomph and richness.
What was unexpected was the delivery of more focaccia when we were half way through – this allowed us to mop up any of the delicious sauce that may have been left.
Onto the puddings – I had a pistachio and olive oil panna cotta which had just the right amount of ‘wobble’. Once again the chef stepped up and whizzed up poached Sicilian apricots with smashed hazelnuts and sorbet. Both desserts were delicious and not too heavy.
We’d definitely go back to Pasta Ripiena especially as the menu is ever changing – just be sure you get that special occasion night booked in ASAP to avoid any disappointment!