Trullo: all the ingredients for a marvellous neighbourhood Italian restaurant
The recipe for a great neighbourhood Italian restaurant should be a no-brainer in theory. Fresh ingredients, simply cooked…. good value… comfortable, buzzy surroundings… and service that’s warm, efficient and comes with a smile. And if there’s one local Italian that has nailed down every single one of these elements with roaring success, it’s Highbury & Islington’s Trullo.
The menu is fresh, seasonal and ever-changing. Salads and herbs have that crunch as if they were just picked. Their hand-made pastas have that gorgeous velvety yet al dente bite. Deep-fried dishes are crisp and surprisingly ungreasy. And their full-on-flavoured stews and braised dishes are slow-cooked with tender loving care to melt-in-the mouth perfection.
Best of all though is the incredible value you get. Despite the small plate style here (which can often result in a not-so-small bill at other places when greed takes over…), the quality-to-price ratio at Trullo is off the charts. You can wine and dine on dish after dish after dish as if you were on that idyllic Tuscan holiday – all for under £25 a head. Add to that the energetic buzz of the place and their flawless service and it makes for a sensational experience that is testament to the team of chef Tim Siadatan (formerly of Fifteen, St John’s and Moro) and Jordan Freida (ex-River Cafe) behind Trullo’s success.
Here’s just a few of the dishes we sampled from their Downstairs menu on our recent visit…
Saffron and Bone Marrow Arancini (£2). PhWOARR.
Little Gem, Pomegranate and Mint Salad (£5)
Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Nutmeg butter (£6)
Braised Cuttlefish, Potato, Chilli and Rosemary (£7.5)
Swaledale Pork Meatballs with Chickpeas and Cavolo Nero (£6.5)
Yes, everything sounds and looks as good as it tastes. Do try the Braised Cuttlefish when on the menu as well as their fresh Pasta dishes which were particularly exceptional.
Damn you North Londoners. You have no idea how lucky you are to have this gem as your local.
300 – 302 St Paul’s Road London, N1 2LH | www.trullorestaurant.com | ingested 4th Feb 2012