Charming taste of the ‘old country’ at Catardi’s

At Catardi's on Commerce Street you are sure to find an Italian favourite just perfect for your lunch.
At Catardi's on Commerce Street you are sure to find an Italian favourite just perfect for your lunch.

Catardi’s Italian cafe is one of Arbroath’s hidden gems and is a great choice for a quick bite or something more substantial at lunchtimes.

Despite being tucked away at 21 Commerce Street, Catardi’s is a busy but cosy little place with a charming rustic Italian look offering a range of Italian classics, from pizza to pasta to paninis.

Being quite peckish, my partner and I decided to try one of the several very reasonably priced main dishes instead of a more usual panini.

My self-diagnosed addiction to pizza led me to try the nine inch pepperoni with extra cheese, the perfect size for lunch.

The base was thin and crispy and the marinara sauce was rich with a lovely mouth-watering tang to it. The pepperoni was succulent and not too greasy, and there were no shirt or tie-based spillages.

My dining companion opted for one of the day’s specials, the prawn and courgette risotto which was accompanied by fresh white bread to scoop up the sauce.

The arborio rice was plump and fluffy and the prawns were pleasingly very plentiful. The courgette was very delicately sliced and added a nice crunch to the proceedings.

The cream-based sauce, which sometimes with risotto can very quickly become overpoweringly rich was the exact opposite.

It was light, just the right amount of creamy and very flavoursome. In fact, before the food arrived we had agreed to split our dishes (all in the name of a fair review!), but after sampling the risotto, my half of the pizza was given back to me, minus several large bites!

We were given the chance to order dessert by our very attentive waitress, but sadly we were both too full from our main courses to feel we could do it justice, so we shall just have to save that for another time.

The turn around time at Catardi’s was very reasonable and we had ordered, chatted and eaten in just less than 45 minutes, making it ideal for those on a limited lunch break.

The lovely atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff made for a thoroughly pleasant dining experience and we would heartily recommend taking a wander down to Commerce Street to find out for yourself.