FOR the past 16 years The Opera in Waterdale has been serving authentic Italian cuisine to customers not only from the locality but also the town’s many visitors from further afield.
Owner Francesco Lombardo has built up a solid reputation based on good home cooked food and good hospitality which in return has given him a steady customer base of regulars.
Once inside, the décor is comfortable and traditional of the style you would find in an authentic restaurant in Italy.
On first entering you may think it’s small and intimate but there is also a dining are upstairs which can also be hired for private functions.
The walls are adorned with individual mini murals depicting Italian life in years gone by.
The starters, or antipasti as the Italians call them, are pretty impressive here. The brocconcini do mozzarella consists of deep fried cheese in breadcrumbs in a ‘lake’ of tomato sauce and the funghetti butterly, (fresh mushrooms cooked in garlic, tomato, parsley and white wine), are just two of the twenty on offer. There are also a wide range of vegetarian options.
Italians are world renowned for their pasta dishes and at The Opera you can even have the pasta menu as a starter option, further extending their appetisers. Do you go for one of the risottos, the lasagne, rigatoni, fettuccine or spaghetti..? The choice is practically endless but the sauces that accompany them are cooked with passion and are delicious.
The main courses don’t just consist of pizza and pasta. There is a fine selection of chicken, pork, beef, veal and seafood all cooked in a variety of styles. I enjoyed the pollo puttanesca, chicken cooked in a white wine sauce with mushrooms, tomatoes and a nip of chilli. The sauce is nice and creamy and the chicken is cooked to perfection with the chilli enhancing the flavour.
No visit to The Opera is complete without having one of the Opera’s home-made desserts which change seasonally and are created by Francesco’s wife Angela who can also supply these same desserts for your own special occasions. If squeezing a dessert in may be something of a mission they will happily serve you one of their famous Italian coffees.
Wine making is something Italians are proud of and it’s no surprise that the wine list here includes some of the finest to be found in Doncaster.
Whether you are looking for a white to go with your penne carbonara or a red to accompany your Filetto Royal (steak), Francesco is on hand to help you make your choice.
It may seem slightly off the beaten path to some, but this will soon change with the arrival of Doncaster’s cultural quarter putting it in a prime location for entertainment.
Make sure you visit their website where you can download promotional vouchers. Opera
l John Bognar