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Just south of Richmond Bridge, this traditional Italian local was half full with a mix of families and dowdyish couples on our Sunday lunchtime visit. It isn’t a particularly romantic spot – our booth table was too wide for intimate banter, the dark decor a little gloomy – but the generous, mostly reliable food makes up for it. Our only disappointment from a good-value £25 set lunch was a fennel, ricotta and chilli risotto – the mushy texture and bland flavour reminded us of baby food. Things picked up with the main courses. Pork rolled in leeks and thyme was the perfect Sunday lunch dish with a rich sauce and smooth potato purée. Tiger prawn fettuccine au gratin came piping hot with lashings of cream, parmesan and lemon, plus the pleasing tang of radicchio. For dessert, panna cotta served in a coupe, was a nutty, mocha-infused affair worth every caloria. A peachy garganega from the compelling Italian wine list (lots of bottles under £30) was delightful. Service was professional, if a little cool. A Cena’s owners, Tim and Camilla Healy, are spreading their net and are now co-owners of Orso and Joe Allen in Covent Garden.
418 Richmond Road
|Transport:||Tube: Richmond tube/rail or St Margarets rail|
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