Cotto, Westminster Bridge Road

Following a recommendation on twitter is a risky business, but I am a social media guru by day and blogger by night, and after a quiet day at work was in search of adventure. Besides which, the Gluten Eating Husband was getting the train to Waterloo so trying out nearby Cotto seemed like a good excuse for a date.

I was a little dubious- Cotto has a bit of a tired frontage, is on a slightly dingy road next to Lambeth North station (no, me neither) and had a small litany of staff waiting outside.

Home made bread

I needn’t have worried. Yes, they were quiet (sunshine is always bad for the restaurant business) but we were met by an extraordinarily friendly ‘buena sierra’ from the many Italian speaking staff including the coeliac owner who set about fussing over which one of us was gluten free and bringing lovely fresh bread (home made ciabatta for me, the normal stuff for GEH) and the tastiest olives I think I have ever had.

The decor leaves a little to be desired, but my goodness I’ve never seen such a big gluten free menu – with all but a few dishes with GF options. The focus is standard home style Italian fare including starters, pizzas, pastas (even fresh ones) and risottos just for me! The only downside is the price difference between the GF and normal column- but I already think £4 for bread mix is normal, so barely noticed.

Masses of GF options on the menu!

We shared a light savoury bresaola with nicely textured tangy mozzarella to start. Promising stuff- this took me right back to our weekend in Napoli. A little while later my excitement at having the first gnocchi since diagnosis paid off- the portion was huge, but the little dumplings were perfect. Clearly home made, satisfyingly al dente & slightly chewy covered in a nice tangy tomato sauce, more creamy melting mozzarella and deliciously fresh-smelling black pepper.

GEH kindly ordered GF rigatoni for me to try (I’ve only seen GF penne before) and this was also perfectly cooked and nicely textured. Unkindly he had picked a caper sauce (ick!) so I’ll spare you my judgement on that!

Gluten free gnocchi with melting mozarella

The portions were so big we’ve brought the rest home, and I’ll have to visit again to test out the home made tiramisu or pizza. All in all, worth the detour, good to meet another friendly coeliac, and the first perfect score I’ve given on glutenfreeability!

Glutenfreeability 10 – so nice to order in confidence!
Food 9
Service 9 – very friendly, but so many staff!

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