Edendum – the Latin word for eating. I have always affirmed the idea that food is for enjoying, for savouring, for loving. The simple pleasure of dining among good friends and good conversation, a glass of red in hand; a delicious meal, beautifully cooked, is matchless.
Perfectly classic, 100% homemade Italian cooking is what Edendum is all about, and in that I trusted in co-owner Diego and his smiling team as they talked my dining partner and I through their menu. Edendum has a very classic and cosy vibe with a decidedly modern twist. Pastas and preserves line the walls on one side, glossy bottles of wines and spirits on the other. Their admirable philosophy painted on the wall for all to see adds to a truly candid feeling about the restaurant.
Naturally we began with a glass of red wine each – all Italian and very well recommended – as we studied the menu. For myself, a glass of Sicilian Baglio Gibellina (£10.70 250ml), and for my partner, a Sangiovese from Umbria (£7.50 250ml). We began with the sharing starter of Gnocco Fritto Misto (£18). Now this, we loved. The board was packed beautifully with various meats and cheeses from all regions of Italy, as well as olives and deep-fried strips of pizza dough, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. The idea is to craft yourself a little pizza dough sandwich of sorts. From Gorgonzola to goat cheese, Mortadella to spicy Spianata salami, every assemblage tasted great, felt special and paired with the wine perfectly. We had so much fun tasting and talking about the different flavours; I can’t wait to have this one again.
Moving onto our mains, my dining partner chose the Rib Eye con Mostarda (£18.90). The Mostarda di Cremona is Edendum’s star preserve – a tangy mustard-flavoured syrup made with candied fruit. The steak arrived sliced, with tiny flowers scattered delicately atop. I’ve never seen a steak served this way, and couldn’t help but coo over how lovely it looked. So when my own dinner arrived, the Polenta e Branzino (£14.90), I could barely contain myself. My sea bass fillet, too, was sprinkled with flowers amidst capers, sundried tomatoes, and anchovies. Once we got over how pretty everything was, we got down to business and tucked in. By the time our plates were almost clean, we found ourselves fighting over chips to dip into the delectable Mostarda.
I’m not much of a dessert kind of girl, however, Edendum impressed me here. I went for the Crème Brulée con sorbetto al frutto della passione (£7.90). It was an artistic sight to behold, and tasted just as wonderful. I especially loved the passion fruit sorbet, which was tangy and fresh. My chocoholic dining partner chose the Affogato al caffè (£5.90) – chocolate ice cream served in a latte glass with a couple of espresso shots. This espresso dessert was rich and smooth – a coffee lover’s dream.
In true Italian style we enjoyed a wonderfully leisurely meal, sharing and discovering as we ate. It’s difficult to find fault in the satisfaction of knowing everything you’re eating is homemade and locally sourced. Edendum’s modern take on the Italian classics means that anyone can enjoy it. From gnocchi and hand-stretched pizza to steak and sea bass, with vegan options if desired, Edendum is mindful of all tastes.
The way Diego and his team explained the elements of each dish really stood out for me. I enjoyed developing my knowledge of real, good food as I ate. Polished off with a post-dinner Limoncello (of course), this was the perfect wholesome, authentically Italian dining experience – I will most definitely be returning.
69 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HQ