Leek is now our home town - for me for the second time. It is now up and coming with plenty of nice pubs - our favourite being the Earl Grey on Ashbourne Road - cafes and restaurants. But the most famous reviewing website does not seem to appreciate the wonderful food of the Napoli. Not only is it not in the top ten restaurants of Leek, it's not even in the top twenty! It has to be in my opinion the best restaurant in Leek and probably Staffordshire too. It makes me wonder about the appreciation of the reviewing public on that website, have they got any taste? I've had a run in with that website before - when I ate inedible food at a restaurant that we had picked for its reviews, I put a critical review up on the website and they took it down. Disturbing or what? Consequently I do not trust THAT website.
Back to the Napoli. We tried to go on Saturday, but there was no space, which was an encouraging sign. This week is our anniversary week - it's ten years since we met, nine years since we got engaged and eight years since we married! Plenty to celebrate. So we decided to go out on Monday night. Early. 6.30pm. We were the first ones in there. One of the things that the reviewers complained about online was the service. I was expecting slow. Yes, my prosecco glass looked like it had lipstick on it and I know you should mention these things, but in the grand scheme of enjoying the evening it felt like a minute detail. I didn't catch any awful diseases, I'm still standing and a bit of lippy perhaps helped my complexion. Well you never know.
The prosecco was delicious, so refreshing, a perfect apperetif - my favourite drink. And I loved the menu. It felt authentically Italian, nothing with chips, a lovely and diverse choice of pizzas, similarly with pasta.
Hubby had the meat platter to start with. His one (very minor) gripe was that the dish should be called 'anti-pasti' as there the meat (perfect) was accompanied by a generous selection of olives, cheese and artichoke. I had King Prawns in wine to start. Absolutely gorgeous. Perfectly cooked and I polished off the sauce, practically licking it off the bowl.
I was going to pick seafood spaghetti for my main. But decided this was a lose-lose choice. It was my dish of choice at our old local Italian restaurant in Chapel Allerton - Casa Mia. But I decided not to go for it; if it was good I would be disappointed I hadn't gone 'off-piste' and been more adventurous. If it wasn't good I would also obviously be annoyed. So I took a risk to start with - I went for the special from the board: ravioli stuffed with taleggio cheese, courgette and peas with a hint of lemon. It was to die for. Perhaps the best pasta dish I have ever had. Hubby had the sausage and marinated brocolli pizza. Again delectable. An inspired combination. To finish I had raspberry pannacotta which was great, hubby had a shot of amaretto with Miscos truffles. Stunning.
Thanks so much to all the staff at the Napoli, we loved it so much and wonder with awe, whether we might have such a gem in Leek that it beats Italy at its own culinary game! Needless to say, we'll be back. Probably very soon.