Most people would agree that the explosive growth of ethnic cuisine in the United Kingdom over the past four decades has altered the British culinary experience beyond recognition.
It was within the lifetimes of many of us who are still around today that restaurants invariably served only domestic fare. Without wishing to decry British cooking (a well-cooked roast with all the trimmings can still be a surprisingly enjoyable experience), the lack of variety that was on offer must have been quite depressing for those given to eating out on anything like a regular basis.
One of the first ethnic options to become widely available to diners in the UK was of course Italian. The arrival of ristorantes and trattorias presented Italian food as the Italians prepare it to an audience whose only previous encounter with the genre will often have been with a tin of spaghetti with cheese and tomato sauce from the local convenience store.
Italian cuisine in the UK does actually date back much further than most of us would probably appreciate. The first Italian restaurant was in fact opened by one Joseph Moretti, a Venetian by birth, off London’s Leicester Square in around 1803.
An early café restaurant going by the name of Salvo Jure was opened near Spitalfield Market in 1859, and Bertorelli’s came to Charlotte Street in 1912.
But the real period of growth began in the 1970s, and by 1998 there were around 5,000 Italian restaurants in the United Kingdom, of which some 2,900 were pizza or pasta establishments.
One of the better known eateries in the capital is the Eco Restaurant, one of the fashionable Clapham Old Town restaurants in a desirable part of South London.
Like all good restaurants in Clapham Eco has worked hard to build a reputation for excellence and a growing following of loyal patrons who return frequently to get some more of the sublime Italian cooking that is always on offer.
Eco’s pizzas are specially made with the nutritional health and well-being of the customer always in mind. Only the finest and freshest ingredients are sourced and the final product is always a nutritious and balanced meal.
Eco Restaurant continues in the proud tradition of the pioneers of domestic Italian cuisine in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Now, as then, the aim is always to produce the finest and most wholesome food in a form that is forever an enjoyable and pleasant experience to eat.