Monday, September 19, 2005
No, I'm not talking about the Worcestershire Sauce, although according to Lea & Perrins (and common sense), Worcestershire sauce indeed originates in this small English cathedral town that lies about an hour by train from Birmingham. I was in Worcester to give a paper at a conference at the University of Worcester last weekend.
After checking into my hotel on Friday night, I went to look for a place to eat. Just behind my hotel was Friar Street, packed with all kind of lovely small eateries. I finally opted for a very cosy-looking Italian place, Puccini's. The place, run by Arvin & Therese Gautama, looked busy with regulars - always a good sign - and I was given a table on a condition that I vacate it again in an hour. As I was dining solo, I didn't mind that. The menu - divided into starters, pizza, pasta & puddings - looked tempting, and I chose Puccini's Cannelloni from the pasta column. After 15 minutes I had a large plateful of piping hot cannelloni in front of me, filled with spinach, ricotta, mushrooms and tarragon. The latter was quite an unusual herb, I thought, but it definitely made the dish very interesting. I managed to fit a cup of coffee and some tiramisu into my one-hour dining slot as well, and left with a full stomach and a pleased palate. (And just about £15 poorer).
Remember I mentioned a few posts ago that I am a faithful type of customer? Well, I am. After the one-day conference ended on Saturday evening, I teamed up with a fellow presenter Eri from Japan and headed back to the centre of Worcester for dinner. As both our hotels were near Friar Street, we inevitably ended back near Puccini's - and then inside Puccini's. This time we got a table for 1,5 hours - I guess by now you've figured out that if you want to have a leisurely meal at that small Italian place, you'd be wise and book ahead.
Eri and I both had salads for starters, followed by fusilli with vegetables and tagliatelle with spinach, mushrooms and Gorgonzola, respectively. For dessert, a very generous portion of Gelato Affogato for Eri and a lovely panna cotta with forest fruits for me. Mmmm. (My bill, incl. a glass of house white - £16).
12 Friar Street
Worchester WR1 2LZ
Tel. +44 (0) 1905 27770