Locale’s south-of-the-river Italians display all the trappings of far starrier venues, only with a trattoria mindset. ‘Music, the clatter of plates & people chatting’ combine with designer looks, open kitchens & on-trend ingredients to create a winning combination that might surprise those who would otherwise leave this chain to the Boden set. Stone-baked pizzas & handmade pasta (prepared using Italian eggs – an important detail) are the obvious choices, but there’s much more on the ‘tantalising’ menu. Rosemary breadsticks wrapped in Parma ham are good for ‘stuzzicare’ (nibbles) as punters deliberate the merits of, say, bruschetta with n’duja, pumpkin gnocchi with smoked ricotta, Lancashire suckling pig with Marsala or Earl Grey crème brûlée. A few slots on the strongly Italian wine list are reserved for interlopers from France & the New World.
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