Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Cena: Northern Italian Cuisine in East Twickenham

A favourite neighbourhood restaurant in Twickenham since opening in 2001, Tim Healy and Camilla Kennedy started A Cena out of a passion to serve high quality simple Italian food set in an elegant but relaxed friendly atmosphere. Having launched Giorgio Armani's first restaurant in Knightsbridge in 1989, Camilla was no stranger to high quality Italian cuisine. Having an Italian mother who was an exceptional cook, she loved being in the kitchen with her, and visiting family in Lake Como and Emilia Romagna ignited a passion for simple, stylish, great tasting food. It was only natural that she would become a chef. Together with husband Tim Healy, a world-class polo player, and head chef Nicola Parsons who Camilla knew from the Armani Café, the idea of A Cena was born and since opening, has had stellar reviews. Serving authentic Northern Italian cuisine with a modern twist, Chef Parson's seasonally inspired menu changes every day using only the finest, freshest, seasonal ingredients, with dishes such as Fusilli with Homemade Pork and Fennel Seed Sausage, Marinated Gressingham Duck Breast with apricot and watercress, and Torta di Verona, a tiramisù-style sponge cake soaked in amaretto and marsala with mascarpone, blueberries and roasted almonds. The wine list is extensive, ranging from small, modest Italian vineyards to some of the great names and superb vintages. An exceptionally pretty town on the banks of the River Thames, with stunning views of the beautiful Richmond Riverside, Twickenham is also the home of English Rugby, who thankfully weren't playing as we made our way over the Richmond Bridge and back to Sloane Square. 

With a warm and inviting interior and great food, A Cena has been a favourite neighbourhood restaurant in Twickenham since opening in 2001

Fresh flowers and candlelight create a welcoming atmosphere on the swooping cocktail and champagne bar as one walks through the door

Owners Camilla and Tim Healy

A big silver bucket of Prosecco and Champagnes are ready to be uncorked

The wine menu is extensive, ranging from small modest Italian vineyards 
to some superb vintages, but also features great wines by the glass

Rocket Salad with Roast Pine Nuts, Balsamic and Parmesan

Fried Tiger Prawns with Lemon and Chilli Mayonnaise

Fried Chickpea and Sesame Seed Panelle Pancake with Cauliflower 'Puttanesca' 
of Anchovies, Black Olives, Capers, Chilli and Tomato

Ricotta Gnocchi 'au gratin' with Spinach, Gorgonzola, Cream and Parmesan

Pan Fried Spiced Marinated Gressingham Duck Breast with Apricot and Wild Watercress

Whole Roasted Seabass

Tim Healy eyeball to eyeball with dinner

Spring Lamb with Cherry Tomatoes, Asparagus and Black Oliver Tapenade

 Torta di Verona

Taleggio, Gorgonzola and Fontina with Grapes, Honey and Nuts

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