As a self-confirmed pizza fangirl I have been munching my way around town trying to find the crème de la crème of Brighton’s doughy delights. Pronto In Tavola is not in the centre of town so had until now escaped my notice, but having heard great things through word of mouth it seemed worthy of a special trip to Hove with the boyfriend in order to investigate further. All in the name of research.
The small but cosy restaurant space makes for a cute first impression, but more impressive is the warm hospitality offered to guests by Nino, the restaurants’ Italian owner/ host/ chef and entertainer extraordinaire. A foodie by nature, he talked us through the ingredients that he uses and explained his cooking methods in some detail which all added to the pizza anticipation. The spaghetti was made at our table so we could watch the process and we were even gifted some unexpected hazelnuts from his land in Italy foraged on a recent trip.
Everything Nino serves is crafted with care (my entrée included bread made in the shape of a C for Chloë) and he displayed a noticeable rapport with all of the customers who drifted in and out the restaurant irrespective whether they were there for a quick bite, a takeaway or a sit down dinner. Throughout the evening many of these repeat customers turned out to also be Italian -which is always a good sign!
As the Prosecco flowed and we discussed and debated everything from food and family through to the rising price of University fees and our hate of uPVC windows both with Nino and the couple sitting on the table next to ours- regulars – it felt as though we were at dinner party with old friends.
As for the food: The pizzas have great dough consistency and there is a good choice of vegetarian toppings. I loved the selection of entrees on offer (especially the mozzarella –filled arancini) and everything is super fresh. The ‘Nanny’s cake’ served with icecream for dessert is great for almond-lovers. My only marginal point for improvement would have been that I prefer a little more salt on my pizza but this is a personal preference and I do tend to like my food generously seasoned.
The verdict: For proper Italian food with an informal and friendly vibe, Pronto in Tavola is a fantastic choice. Great service, high quality pizza and laid-back atmosphere.