Dorchester has an enterprising new artisan food business in town, Nonno Peppe. Down the alley in Trinity House, Trinity Street, the former home of the Convivial Rabbit (now across the path) has been transformed into a traditional pizza parlour.

Proprietor and chef Gennaro hails from Italy and is very proud of his authentic pizzas and pasta dishes. He has been a chef in the UK for many years, but while working at the Rest and Welcome Inn at Melbury Osmund, he fell in love with the Dorset countryside and was determined to open his own business in the county. Dorchester was his favourite town.

I first tried one of his pizzas on 14 February as a Valentine’s Day treat for myself and my partner (we failed to book a restaurant in time!). As she is vegetarian we settled for a Margherita with extra toppings of mushrooms, olives, red onions and artichokes. It looked spectacular and tasted wonderful, with a fine thin base, crisped at the edges – a far cry from the stodgy, tasteless, American-style offerings from the big chains.

10% off voucher

We had the 12” option with a side salad; it proved to be easily enough for two and the salad was fresh with a splendidly piquant dressing. With the whole lot costing a little over £12, it was one of the best value meals I have ever bought from any takeaway.

Since then I have tried the Rustica – a 10” version at just £6. The tomato and mozzarella base came with red onions, pepperoni, olives and artichokes, and was delicious, and the pepperoni managed to be neither greasy nor too salty, as they so often are.

On my third visit, I thought I would try one of Gennaro’s pasta dishes. I chose the Penne al Pollo. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the rich creamy sauce delicately flavoured, with a generous helping of diced chicken. It was huge, but I scoffed the lot!

I am looking forward to my next visit, and intend to try one of the house specials – the Godfather Burger is, apparently a best-seller, and Nonno’s proper steak and ale pie sounds amazing. This has to be the best takeaway in town, with everything made in-house, where possible with local ingredients, and cooked from fresh.

Gennaro is generously offering a 10% discount to readers of the Dorchester Voice – all you have to do is quote the code on the ad when ordering. Food can be delivered locally for only £1, though personally I prefer a pint in the Convivial Rabbit while I wait!

Jerry Bird

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