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This terrific, personally run Italian is old school, tiny and full of character. Despite cramped conditions and limited lunchtime opening hours, it's still in demand thanks to first-rate regional
cooking, with generous, deftly made pastas – perhaps pappardelle with beef ragù, spaghetti with red mullet and samphire, or orecchiette with Italian sausage and broccoli. A ‘grande' main course of
fritto misto or slow-cooked rabbit in Marsala wine might leave you reeling, but you should still try to make room for some tiramisu or chestnut and rum pannacotta with chocolate sauce.
Old-fashioned service adds to the atmosphere, and the thoughtful wine list is a rewarding trek through Italy's regional vineyards – making 500 the real deal on Holloway Road.
This new category of “The Neighbourhood Gem” has been born as a result of a line of unsatisfactory visits to en vogue London restaurants. I concluded that a lot of the eateries that are the flavour at the moment in London, I just don’t rate particularly highly. I therefore decided together with my eater in crime, Uyen, instead of rushing to all new openings (I am honestly sick and tired of burgers) and endlessly hyped restaurants, to rather explore the neighbourhood eatery – usually a little gem that has been around forever and is recession-proof as it is frequented by loyal locals who keep coming to enjoy the food...
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