An old industrial building on a side street in Anstey is probably not where you might expect to find one of the region’s best Italian restaurants. But don’t be fooled – Sapori is the real deal.
A favourite among Leicester’s Italian community – not least the sainted Claudio Ranieri when he was here – Sapori was created by two Neapolitan brothers-in-law and serves high quality, authentic Italian cuisine in stylish surroundings. It’s smart and lively with an open kitchen at one end where busy chefs buzz around in full whites and toques.
Everything from bread to gelati is home made, and ingredients include the best of both Leicestershire and Italy. Robust and flavoursome pasta dishes feature – think rigatoni with slow-cooked rabbit ragu with black olives and dark Sicilian chocolate – as do more ambitious seasonal dishes. At our last visit we enjoyed astonishing local venison with a Chianti and blueberry sauce. And look out for specials such as Cornish turbot served with Leicestershire courgette, fine beans and basil sponge.
This is less cosy neighbourhood trattoria and more smart night out. But the ambience is friendly and the food is well-conceived, beautifully cooked and presented, and hugely enjoyable.
By Tim Burke, Leicestershire editor