Tom Flint: A taste of Italy that is a cut above

Gnocco Frito Misto a great sharing starter or lunch SUS-170418-140254001
Gnocco Frito Misto a great sharing starter or lunch SUS-170418-140254001

Italian food has something of a chequered history in Brighton – and across the UK. This country has managed to take one of the world’s greatest cuisines and turned it into a hideous parody of what it should be.

In fact, we have managed to do this with most of the world’s cuisines. We Brits certainly know how to turn something fabulous into a bland and mediocre representation of its former self. Okay, perhaps I am being a little harsh. Those times are behind us now and things have moved on leaps and bounds since those dark times.

One of Brighton’s new breed of Italian restaurants is Edendum. They opened around two years ago, and have been creating authentic dishes from across Italy. Focussing on modern interpretations of classic dishes, there is a mix of familiar and less well known dishes on the menu.

My friend and I paid a visit on a quiet Tuesday evening and were greeted by the friendly and welcoming owner Diego. He showed us to our table in the window and we discussed wine and food for a few minutes. The décor has a clean and modern feel but it is also warm and welcoming.

We went for a sharing starter of Gnocco Fritto Misto (£18) which consists of deep fried pizza strips with a variety of Italian cheese and ham. The coming together of a cheese and charcuterie platter combined with crisp yet pillow soft and salty pizza dough is spot on. I loved this starter and it would be perfect for a sharing lunch dish with a glass of wine.

For main I go for a special of prawn squid ink ravioli with squid strips (£14) and my friend goes for a vegetarian Contadina pizza (£10.20). My dish is a visual treat with jet black pasta filled with whole prawns and soft squid strips topping the ravioli. The pasta has a lovely bite to it and it is a plate of food that I make short work of.

The pizza is up there with some of Brighton’s specialist pizzerias. They prove their dough for 24 hours so that it is easier to digest and there is a lovely soft rise around the crust. My friend struggles to finish, but then he has ended up with double dough following the starter, an easy trap to fall into. We end with gelato caldo (£6.90) and crème brulee (£7.90). The caldo is hot ice cream in an almond crust which sounds improbable. It looks good and my friend polishes it off. I am a big brulee fan and this is an interesting version, served with passionfruit sorbet. It is fresh and light but I think I prefer a no-nonsense ramekin full of set cream with lots of burnt sugar a la Francais.

Edendum is a restaurant that had gone under my radar but is doing a great job in raising the standard of Italian cuisine in the city. The owners are passionate about their food and wine, which is excellent and reasonably priced. If you are looking for a taste of Italy that is a cut above the standard then this is a great option.

Edendum

69 East St, Brighton BN1 1HQ

www.edendum.co.uk