CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Appetito
I'll swear the Italians are taking over Sheffield. Every day it seems like a new authentic Italian cafe or restaurant has opened. And I'm certainly not complaining, because I find this trend really exciting. Not only does it increase the availability of decent super-thin stone-baked pizza, but I would expect the chances of ending up with a satisfying espresso or coffee to increase when made with a proper Italian touch.
I came across Appetito completely by accident. Utterly deflated after an ophthalmology appointment at the Royal Hallamshire failed to shed any light on my dry eye syndrome, much less offer any helpful suggestions, I decided I had plenty of time before work to walk into town, which might help burn off my anger and frustration. Just off the ring road I walked past what used to be PJ Taste only to discover it's become a new Italian cafe. Yes, I thought to myself, I should pep myself up with another coffee, especially as I was expecting my afternoon to be quite physical. And what harm would a little more caffeine do?
So I popped in and ordered a double macchiato. I suspect the Italian barista could be a chef as well, or perhaps even the owner, as he projected that sort of confidence. My macchiato was served in the size cup I've always considered proper for a short double dry cappuccino (as opposed to these massive Grande-sized soup bowls you get these days). The coffee was very smooth but quite pleasant and perfectly made, and it was just what I needed. And my drink was served with an amaretti biscuit, which is a very nice touch.
The beans are from Musetti, a roaster and coffee dealer located in northern Italy. The food menu features typical Italian dishes including meats, fish, and baked pasta, and there are also sandwiches on homemade flat breads, thin crust stone-baked pizzas, salads, and cakes and pastries. All ingredients are all carefully sourced from local businesses and organic farmers. According to their website Appetito's aim is to provide a perfect place to "mangiare bene", which means to eat well.
As I sat in the window sipping my coffee and browsing the menu I was excited to discover they serve pizza by the slice as well -- but as it was well before lunch I didn't get to see what the pizza looks like. The pastries are baked fresh every morning, bread is baked several times a day, and the dishes are all cooked to order for eating in or taking away.
Too bad this place isn't on my way to work unless I decide to make the 35-minute walk. Oh well, next time my bus stops running because of snow I'll stop and try the pizza. But as it's just July I'm not going to hold my breath for snow. That could be a bit dangerous…
Speaking of dangerous things reminds me of a recent email conversation with my Bay Area friend:Have you ever heard of the word sabrage? I ran into it in a cryptic crossword today. It was originated by Napoleon Bonaparte, and it's a technique for opening a champagne bottle with a sabre.