Much-lauded Zucca may be close by, but Antico’s flexible approach, cheery service and laid-back, youthful vibe still guarantee regular full houses. Perky Nocarella olives and focaccia get things off to a good start, while the menu offers lots of options – from grazing on small plates or loading up with pasta to conventional three-course blowouts. Top calls have included fritto misto of prawns and squid with a zingy chilli and basil aïoli, pappardelle with lamb ragù (‘a standout’), expertly timed fore-rib of beef fiorentina and grilled tuna steak with treviso, capers and balsamic reduction. To finish, order a selection of tiramisu, espresso ice cream, blood-orange sorbet and the like – with enough spoons for sharing. Design-savvy locals may not be impressed by the cheap-looking furniture, but as a lively, warm-hearted neighbourhood eatery, Antico delivers the goods.
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