Southern Italian restaurant and wine bar on Kingsland Road.
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Italian
Address : 434 Kingsland Rd, Shoreditch, London , E8 4AA, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.rotorino.com
Opening Times : Mon-Fri: 6pm; Sat: 5pm; Sun: 12pm
Closest Tube : Haggerston
Sometimes you need something with a little less polish and a bit more panache, and Stevie Parle's southern Italian restaurant Rotorino is just that. Situated on Kingsland Road, the eatery was once a diamond in the rough but seems to have spread its magic to some of the surrounding edifices, many of which now house trendy dining concepts. Strangely, though, Rotorino is a bit more grown up than you'd expect - on a busy Thursday night there were as many families and older couples as there were young hipsters.
For those who want to pop in for a quicky, Rotorino has an amazing cocktail bar serving up punchy Italian-inspired libations with seating next to the window. The rest of the room yawns backwards towards a tessellation of 1970s blue-patterned tiles that catch the eyes, with hanging low lights spread throughout and walls scraped back to bare the original brickwork, illuminated by wall sconces. The whole enterprise is entirely retro and entirely charming. During our visit there was a table of twenty-four celebrating on the large central table which added a frisson of energy to the room.
Mr Parle came up in some of the best Italian kitchens in London, including the River Café and Petersham Nurseries, and brings the warmth you'd expect to classic southern Italian fare. We ordered up some cocktails - the Peaty Blinder was made with Laphroaig, Cynar, Campari and cinnamon and was very good, as was the Bella Vita: Aperol, Gin, Cynar, prune shrub and floral tonic. These went very well with salty olives and an elegantly fried courgette flower.
We lined up a bottle of Baglio Gibellina Sicilian red wine and knocked down duck ragu pappardelle sprinkled with parmesan and nettle ravioli packed full of salt cod, tomato and olive. Both were blisteringly delicious. The Sasso chicken was a work of poultry perfection, served on toast with wild garlic and ricotta. We also enjoyed sea bream presented whole on the plate and served with an edgy salmoriglio sauce that incised its way through the fish. We finished off our meal by sharing a lemon meringue from the specials board - we would have been hard pressed to fit much more in!
For anyone dining in east London who wants a hip yet grown up experience, Rotorino is certainly the place.