Having visited Italy for the first time as a child, I found myself returning year on year for the food – pasta, ice cream and the pizza.
As Pickering’s only Italian in its array of cultural restaurants, Figaro’s is tucked away in the corner of Birdgate Street, so I decided to compare an Italian restaurant in Yorkshire with the real deal in Rome and I was not left disappointed.
Although small, the minimalistic, retro chic décor puts this Italian aside from the traditional restaurant. The clean, crisp white walls are lined perfectly with 1950s styled Italian pop art posters.
Across two levels the tables are set out to make the most of the limited space. The black wooden table tops and chairs emphasise the modern theme.
Myself and my family visited Figaro’s at 8 o’clock one evening and although not busy, it was a Tuesday, the restaurant was bustling as families, friends and larger parties enjoyed the food and the friendly ambiance.
For starters the four of us shared a garlic bread marinara. Gorgeously rich tomatoes and pesto complemented the garlic bread which left us all wanting more.
The variety of starters all sounded incredibly tempting and the salad dishes and bruschetta looked superb.
Our drinks were reasonably priced with a varied wine list.
The staff were very attentive and the food was served quickly but long enough to know it was all freshly prepared.
For our mains we had a wide range of traditional pizza and pasta dishes to choose from. My one negative about the food was that it perhaps lacked a bit more variety on the grill menu, although a grilled steak was available.
I went for a pizza pollo kiev which was covered in pieces of chicken and mushrooms, and you certainly couldn’t complain about a small portion size.
The pizza was cooked perfectly; the dough was slightly crispy on the crust but soft and fluffy with a good, strong structure for those who want to eat their pizza by the slice. The tomatoes were rich and fresh and the melted cheese complemented the flavour
The pizza tasted home-made, as if the recipe has been passed down for generations, giving it an authentic feel.
It was by far the best pizza I have had in a long time, which was the consensus around the table .
My aunt chose the linguine filetto – a fresh pasta with a subtle kick to the sauce, enough heat to be tasty without making your eyes water, and the tenderness and quantity of the steak for a £10.90 pasta was surprisingly good value for money.
The three of us indulged from the wide variety of desserts on the menu – from bread and butter pudding and the classic Italian tiramisu.
I went for the tiramisu and it was nothing short of heavenly. With a homemade feel, it was rich and creamy, dusted with chocolate flakes and a huge portion size for a dessert which cost £4.80. Although it could have perhaps done with a dash more of amaretto, it was an absolute delight and despite feeling full I couldn’t leave a spoonful.
Figaro’s is a little piece of Italy situated in Pickering with excellent staff, a warm atmosphere and food you’d expect to taste in a charming restaurant in Rome.
OVERALL RATING: 8