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.
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