Restaurant review: The Coast, Italian restaurant Prestbury
11:20 a.m. September 21, 2022
12:58 21 September 2022
The coast firmly puts Italian food at the top of the list when it comes to having a great night out
For me, Italian restaurants have become a somewhat unreliable, but not very exciting, option on the long list of places to go when a meal is in sight. My choice is less about the food than about the atmosphere and the reliability of the service; after all, we can cook our own pizza and pasta these days, right? So when I arrived at The Coast, Prestbury, I was curious to find out why this particular Italian had attracted quite a fan base.
Located on Prestbury’s main street, there’s a stylish, contemporary feel inside, with comfy stools in the bar and a warmly lit dining area with white brick walls (wallpapered, but perfectly done) and wooden ceilings. The staff are attentive and chatty, happy to join in on menu selections, and the menu is pretty much as you’d hope and expect – classic Italian starters, pizza and pasta on the front page, and meat, fish and vegetarian options. tempting at the second. Until now, that was to be expected, but something magical happens between the menu and the kitchen that completely woke me up.
We ordered Bruschetta (tomato, red onion, basil, and Burrata) and Pane Grigliato (freshly grilled pizza dough, arugula and parmesan salad, and cheese pesto dip) to start, and it’s from the first fork of tomato which I realized we had found somewhere very special. They just sang of cool summer days in Amalfi; sweet, succulent, perfect little bombs of scarlet joy. Beautifully seasoned, I didn’t really need the cheese, however good it was, I could have just inhaled the tomatoes. While I was reveling in tomato heaven, Mike was getting giddy with a warm, fluffy pesto sauce, whatever you want to be pizza but never is, and cheesy. I honestly thought he would ask for a third jar of this delicious stuff, he cleaned the first two so carefully. We got off to a very good start.
For our main courses, we chose Porchetta (me) and Saltimbocca (him). I tried, and failed, to make my own Porchetta many times, but had never done it properly before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Oh my – you should take a special trip just for that. Lush, chewy, sweet pork belly rolled up with herbs and roasted until the finest crackling filling adds extra dimension to every bite. I could eat it every week. Served with a black pudding fritter, mashed new potatoes, green beans and a creamy mustard sauce, it’s simply fabulous. This was also our first experience of Saltimbocca – sage-stuffed chicken thighs wrapped in prosciutto, pan-roasted and served with mashed potatoes, green beans and Marsala cream sauce. Mike loved this dish – it’s rich and full of flavor, coated in a lovely sauce. I found it a little too much for me, but that was fine, I should have fought Mike for more than a first taste anyway.
Italian food done right is always a pleasure, but done like this, with such a clear focus on fresh tastes and authentic recipes, it’s an absolute joy, and now I know why there’s such a buzz around meals at The Coast.