La Storia – Italian – Nottingham (West Bridgford)
La Storia is not on the fashionable Central Avenue like most of West Bridgford’s other restaurants. Instead it’s behind Trent Bridge on the residential Musters Road. It does make it easier to find a parking space though so I was happy enough. The restaurant has been open a couple of months and was suitably shiny and new inside. I liked the décor, open and bright but retaining a homeliness. The menu follows a traditional Italian style of antipasti, primi, secondi and dolce. In my basic translation that is; starter, pasta, main, dessert. You can get one of each of these for £28, a potential saving of over £10. Whilst that sounds appealing I think most people will struggle to manage that much food, we opted to skip the pasta.
Bread and olives often seems a good place to start, along with a glass of wine from an interesting and reasonably priced list. These weren’t cheap at £3.50 and £3 respectively. The bread tasted as though it had been sitting around for a while and the oil (particularly the balsamic) was low quality. Olives were nice but we did have to mention they hadn’t arrived after quite a while. Having had a sneaky look at the menu a couple of days before I had my eye on clams in a tomato sauce. Sadly, I was told that they didn’t have any but mussels were available instead. Honestly, everything would have been forgiven with a knockout sauce. I was looking forward to the punch of garlic and a deep red of tomato from an Italian concoction like this. Whilst it wasn’t bad, it didn’t really stand up to the mussels and there wasn’t enough of it. Perhaps it would have worked better with the sweeter more subtle clams.
Main courses were rustically presented, the new menu is very much in season so hearty is to be expected. I went for a homemade sausage with chickpea and lentil casserole to combat the cold nights. There were a couple of issues, the sausage itself was dry and dense and a fennel seed was somehow the prevailing flavour. The casserole element was also dry, very little liquid along with the chickpeas and lentils. Combine that with a few quite good roast potatoes and a disappointingly small clump of spinach and you’re left with a dinner that’s hard work to get through. Even with some freshness or a sauce the sausage itself would have been underwhelming.
Dessert was a redeeming feature at least. I did miss seeing the usual names in the choices, no panna cotta, tiramisu or affogato here. The chocolate cake was recommended and did turn out to be the highlight of the meal. Its pastry was well cooked, not too think and the chocolate a good flavour despite not looking very dark. I wasn’t quite sure how Italian it was, a token additional dollop of amaretto sauce didn’t really bring anything to the dish.
Service was well meaning and enthusiastic, the young couple who own La Storia were mostly present and bustling at the front of house. If I lived around the corner I might consider popping in again but there were just not enough positives to be able to recommend it. I can’t say it was great value either, my arguably “peasant food” main course set me back £13. I was certainly full at the end of my meal, I just wasn’t very satisfied. I try and find places so I can tell you not to go to Jamie’s Italian and then this happens. But seriously, don’t go to Jamie’s…..unless its summer because they have a lovely garden out back J
Restaurant website: https://lastorianottingham.co.uk/