Tarantella opened in spring 2007 and is a simple local Italian restaurant serving pizzas as well as a variety of conventional Italian food. What sets it apart from any number of places like it is the care evident in the cooking. Pizza dough is freshly rolled out and made to order, the crust thin and light, the toppings fresh. A basic bruschetta to start was made from pizza dough, toasted in the oven and covered with diced tomatoes and fresh basil. More elaborate dishes going to nearby tables were well presented. On a previous visit I tried unusually good garlic bread and a simple dish of sizzling prawns with garlic and chilli had a pair of good prawns cooked in their shell, tender and with a lively dressing. At a recent meal I had very good rigatoni with spicy sausage.
The premises are fairly tiny, with a few closely packed tables downstairs and some additional ones upstairs, with no tablecloths, bright lighting and minimal decor. The pizzas are prepared in full view of the dining room, which is fun to watch. The pizza chef is from Naples, and the venture is co-owned by three chefs from Italy; waitresses appear to be family members pressed into service. The overall effect is charming, with a very genuine welcome.
A chocolate fondant was capably made, with a rich liquid centre, but was let down by some poor bought-in ice cream. With such a tiny kitchen I can understand they may struggle to make their own ice cream, but they do need to find a better supplier. Tiramisu, though, was very pleasant with good coffeee flavour. This is nothing more than simple cooking, but in these days of cynical chains this comes across as genuine. More to the point, they can actually make a proper pizza.