Trullo, London

As a resident of north London, Trullo, nestled on a bustling street off Highbury Corner, has long been on my list of local restaurants to try. After finally getting round to sampling its Italian cuisine, I’m kicking myself for waiting this long. It’s officially my new favourite eatery.

Spread over two floors, the restaurant, which first flung open its doors in 2010, has the feel of a classic rustic Italian trattoria with atmospheric lighting, unfussy tables and chairs, and dark wooden beams, as well as the buzz and chatter you’d come to expect when dining out on the continent.

The food is equally impressive with a compact menu that changes daily and focuses on authentic Italian cuisine made with the best fresh ingredients – think pasta, antipasta, marinated cuts of meat, and grilled fish.

Highlights on the starter menu when I visited included a delicious plate of buffalo mozzarella with flavoursome marinated radicchio, bruschetta with crunchy sweetbreads, wild garlic and marsala, and salt cod with dressed agretti, tomato and pangrattato.

The real stars of the first course menu, however, are the pasta dishes. I had three options to choose from including a sweet onion ravioli, and a smoked eel and lemon tagliatelle, but I plumped (after a string of recommendations from friends) for Trullo’s signature pasta dish, the melt-in-the-mouth pappardelle pasta with 35-day hung Herefordshire beef shin in a rich ragu sauce. It did not disappoint.

For mains, the dishes are either oven cooked or charcoal grilled, with the braised lamb shank that effortlessly fell off the bone teamed with tangy chickpeas and hearty aubergine taking my fancy. Other mouth-watering options include Black Hampshire pork chop with poached potatoes, chargrilled trevise and anchovy, and mackerel with Castelluccio lentils and salsa rossa.

To finish things off you can choose from a small but scrumptious selection of desserts – think rhubarb and almond tart, salted caramel ice cream, and Amalfi lemon tart – as well as Italian cheese and biscuits.

Like everything else on offer here, the bumper regional Italian-only wine list is reasonably priced, as are the cocktails and pre-dinner aperitifs, while the service was friendly and knowledgeable about Italian food without being overbearing. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, why the hell did I wait so long to visit?

Trullo, 300-302 St Paul’s Road, London, N1 2LH. Call 020 7226 2733 or email to book your table now.

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