We’re big fans of Salvo’s Salumeria, the café cum deli in Headingley run by John and Gip Dammone, so when we heard about Stuzzi and the four ex-employees who had spent four months on an Italian road trip learning about ingredients and suppliers before opening their own restaurant in Harrogate, we had to check them out.
And, verily, it was good, from the deli stocked with pastas and olive oils to the counter with takeaway breads and pastries but most of all the café with its changing menu of reasonably priced dishes like arancini, frito misto, meatballs, braised octopus with potato and chilli salad, chicken stuffed with Italian sausage wrapped in pancetta, cheese croquettes with salsa verde and grey mullet with pine nuts and grapes.
It’s opposite the Conference Centre so a nifty place for delegates to drop the corporate hotel breakfast in favour of eating local on fennel sausage sandwiches, baked eggs with tomato and cheese or toasted pannafruttone and – naturalmente – excellent coffee.
Meringues and pastries sit on the counter and fab puddings include the one we sampled: chocolate torte with macerated cherries and Amaretto sauce served with the best ice cream from top London gelato maker Gelupo. Loved it.
Concrete floors, fibreboard tables, reclaims and Ebay finds furnish Stuzzi’s cool, rough-hewn interior. Much more of this and Harrogate is in danger of getting hip.