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RECOMMENDATION – Locanda Bagutta, authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of St. Albans, Herts

By Emma McNamee – 30th October 2020
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What I loved about Locanda Bagutta

I love the authenticity of this restaurant.  It’s not trying to be posh or fancy – it’s just homely, hearty and wholesome with a genuine Italian charm.

 

Worth paying a babysitter?

Either / Or – we’ve been there as a couple and with friends, and we’re looking forward to taking the kids on the next visit.

 

Value for money: 8/10

You pay what you’d expect for a good feed.

Their starters range from £7.50 to £12, and their pastas start from £8.50 but if you’re looking to enjoy their freshly made egg pasta expect to pay £14.  Other main courses are around £16-£18, with pizzas starting at £8.

Tucked away in a little courtyard down George Street, in the Cathedral District of St. Albans, is a true Italian delight of a restaurant offering inside or alfresco courtyard dining options for lunch, dinner or takeaway.

 

Having lived in Italy in my early 20s, and travelled to Italy for work as a hotel buyer for many many years, going to an Italian restaurant nowadays for me is all about the authentic experience, Italian banter and traditional dishes and this new find ticks all those boxes for me.

 

Celebrating its two-year anniversary this month, it’s a true Italian affair.  It reminds me of a proper Italian trattoria.  No airs and graces, but friendly service allowing the good fun Italian banter I so miss , along with traditional Italian cuisine so you come away well fed.

 

The décor is relatively simple with wine bottles, family paintings, and Italian books interspersed around the restaurant.  The higgledy-piggledy buildings down George Street date back to the Middle Ages, so the low ceilings and quirky layout of the building this restaurant is located in come as no surprise.  There are 2 separate rooms for inside dining and the kitchen is on partial view in the corner between the two. I always think an open kitchen is a good sign in a restaurant – they’re proud of what they’re cooking up.

 

Those running the restaurant bring a mix of Italy from the North to South.  The owners are from Turin, the head chef is from Genova, and our waitress was from Sicily.    The restaurant is named after a famous street in Milan, “Bagutta”, where the owners also have another restaurant under the same name.

 

A selection of dry and egg pastas made fresh daily that allow you to mix and match your preferred pasta with your preferred sauce.  They also do gluten free pasta for coeliacs which I’ve enjoyed, opting for the siciliana sauce which is tomato based with aubergines and onions and all rather delish.

 

My husband has tried both the arrabiata and the carbonara sauces, wolfing his plate down both times which is a sure sign of content.  We are cheesoholics in our household, so pasta always has to be covered with parmesan.  It may not be quite the Italian way to smother pasta with quite as much cheese as we do, but our meal, our choice right?!    They soon realised that a sprinkling of parmesan wasn’t going to cut it for us, so by our third visit they just left the bowl on the table – perfect solution.

 

After 2 lunchtime visits, we wanted to try out dinner, so went along for a 3rd time in the evening with some friends and our experience was just as good, with more of an atmosphere too.  I’d definitely recommend booking in the evening as every table was occupied, another sure sign of a good restaurant.   Both my husband and I opted for the Tagliata di Manzo, one of my favourite Italian dishes, which was served with a rocket and parmesan salad and it all went down very well indeed.  Of course, we had to finish dinner off with a round of limoncellos, which turned in to a second round…..

 

Naturally, the restaurant doubles up as an Italian takeaway joint, delivering pizzas and other Italian dishes locally.  We’ve not yet tried their pizzas, but I don’t doubt that’s what my son will be ordering when we get round to taking the kids on a next occasion.

 

They also have an “aperitivo” couple of hours from 5-7pm every day (except Monday when they’re closed), should you just fancy stopping by for a drink, and they have no objection to you swinging by for a good Italian coffee and piece of cake, to enjoy in their outside courtyard seating.   A part of their courtyard is covered, so you can enjoy it year round even in the rain.

 

So there you have it, my latest little find in St. Albans where I get to chat away in Italian again whilst enjoying some fabulous Italian cuisine.

 

For more information visit: https://www.bagutta.co.uk/home

Enjoy!

Emma xoxo

RECOMMENDATION

This is a Girl About recommendation. This means that it was not gifted in return for a review but paid in full by our writer and the venue had no idea that I was there. We only recommend places we absolutely love, and places that we know you’ll love too!

Emma McNamee
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