Tarantella is a neighbourhood Italian restaurant in Chiswick, serving a mix of pasta and pizzas, as well some other dishes. The restaurant is small, with a few tables downstairs in a room split into two levels, as well as some further seating upstairs. The kitchen is open to view from the ground floor dining room.
The wine list is quite basic, omitting not only vintages but even the growers. This is not going to encourage people even vaguely interested in wine, who will have to select from 13 bottles with descriptions like “sauvignon blanc:” and “merlot”. The wines ranged from £17.95 to £45.95.
They make their own bread on the premises, and today I tried some tomato focaccia as a starter. This was quite light and fluffy, with pleasant tomato flavour (easily 12/20). Interestingly this tasted a lot better than it usually does in the evening, when they often give away a little as a nibble. I suspect that it is a timing issue, as at this lunchtime it was nice and fresh, but by the evening harder in texture and less appealing.
A custom pizza had a good base and had a topping of artichokes, mushrooms and olives. The mushrooms tasted better than the last time I sampled this pizza, and in general the toppings were good. The lack of a proper pizza oven means that they are never going to be able to produce a pizza in the league of somewhere like L’Oro di Napoli, but this was still perfectly nice (12/20). I tried spaghetti arrabiata, which had good texture and a pleasant sauce with a decent amount f garlic flavour, though for me a touch more chilli would not have gone amiss (13/20).
Service was friendly, as it always seems to be here. The bill, with soft drinks, came to just £12 before service, taking advantage of the £11 lunch menu. If you came in the evening, had three courses and coffee and shared a modest bottle of wine then a typical cost per person might be around £40. This is not a destination restaurant, but a place that I am always happy to return to, and not just because I live within walking distance. It has a welcoming feel and serves enjoyable, competent food.
Further reviews: 27th Nov 2015