Altrincham has undergone something of a revolution. Very much a tale of two halves, a decaying high street on one hand, and promising new life around the renovated market on the other. It’s quickly become a cherished asset and the offshoots are bearing fruit. The owners of Sugo, the pasta kitchen, a stone’s throw from the market, found each other and inspiration while working at Honest Crust.
Tables are hard to come by, and planning is essential, though when you take into account it’s a restaurant with capacity for around 25 covers, it’s to be expected.
Both proprietors have family from Puglia and the menu features a succinct selection of hearty dishes. Choice is limited, for food and drink. The wine list is a few feature bottles on the wall and soft drinks, sadly in short supply.
That slight niggle aside, sometimes a minimal menu bodes well and in this case, it certainly did. We only went for a main course, probably just as well given the portions.
Whilst we all fancied the Orecchiette with slow cooked wild boar, beef shin and nduja, I couldn’t countenance the idea of only sampling one of the tempting dishes so I found a partner and we agreed on half and half, opting for brown crab rigatoni with langoustine bisque and a crisp salad of fennel.
The ragu was delicious; comfort food at it’s best – rich, deep and tender. The heat from the n’duja added an extra dimension but really it’s not something worth thinking too much about, just the kind of yummy hug in a bowl that should be dived into with gay abandon.
The crab was quite different, more grown up in it’s complexity and intriguing rather than nostalgic and definitely fishy! The pasta though was probably verging on a little too crunchy to be classed as al dente.
Pasta, oils, even crockery, hail from Italy. This commitment to authenticity is great but it is a shame that the pasta isn’t fresh.
Imports come at a cost; four bowls of pasta and some water for £80 with service, though, I reckon, worth every penny.