Authentic Italian in Shoreditch
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Italian
Address : 71 Central St, Clerkenwell , London, EC1V 8AB, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.palatino.london
Opening Times : Mon-Sat: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm
Closest Tube : Old Street
Not sure if you've noticed, but London has been having an Italian renaissance to rival the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci. The latest Italian restaurant to carve a slice out of the capital is Palatino, opened by the enterprising Stevie Parle, who at a tender age has opened Dock Kitchen, Rotorino, Craft and Sardine. The newest is located on a Clerkenwell backstreet and trades as a neo Roman trattoria borrowing inspiration from Monti, the Fifth Quarter, and the Jewish communities who made it their own. Suffice to say, it's a winner.
The room in which Palatino resides is a strikingly modern and expansive space with an open-kitchen along the southern side, segueing into a bar as it swoops to the west. Chefs pluck olive oil and other ingredients from the iron gantry, before turning around to tend the wood-fired oven. With warehouse-style windows, exposed piping and fishbowl pendant lights, the dining room exudes a cool contemporary vibe that walks in step with Clerkenwell's design-oriented industries.
We ordered a refreshingly priced, refreshingly juicy bottle of Frappato which was a beautiful compliment to the cuisine. Antipasti of sage leaves served with honey vinegar were a nice touch - battered and fried in a way that was reminiscent of tempura, but we were charmed by the juicy anchovies, nestled into stringy stracciatella (the innards of burrata) with a razor thin slice of orange for a hit of flavour.
The pasta reaches beautiful notes, rivalling that of recently opened Padella. Bombolloti with a ragu 'Marcella' blended a thin yet flavoursome tomato sauce, pancetta and roast pork together beautifully, while a cacio e pepe with tonarello showcased a chef with an adept hand for detail. However, one of our favourite dishes from the Primi section of the menu was a soup of farro, porcini, beans and chard, which was required eating for a cold February evening - wholesome and hearty.
For our mains we enjoyed potato gnocchi fried crispy with rosemary, which made a lovely companion to the Roman trattoria staple of veal saltimbocca with prosciutto, spinach, sage and a bewitching Marsala sauce. We finished off the evening with chocolate tartuffi - a bomb of the dark chocolate encapsulating sour cherry ice cream. Clerkenwell is certainly on the rise and Palatino is no exception to the trend. For the best Italian in EC1, we recommend you drop in.