A ‘thoroughly charming restaurant', this highly distinctive and long-serving Italian stands out from the local competition thanks to its sunny persona and unaffected cooking. Located above a former pub – with the front door on a quiet mews – Assaggi has accrued fans aplenty since launching in 1997, and they continue to throng the first-floor dining room. Blue and peach colour schemes and large sash windows ensure a suitably summery feel, helped by a short menu of ‘authentic' regional food written in its native tongue. The likes of sea-bass carpaccio, tagliolini with fresh herbs and walnuts or venison with port, chestnuts and radicchio don't need further elaboration, and they are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Devoted staff really ‘care about what they do', and the short wine list packs oodles of Italian class into a small space. WINE LIST: Only 36 bins long, the wine selection here is short and sweet, yet it succeeds in offering a comprehensive overview of the highlights of Italy. Prices are well thought out with good deals to be had at every price point. Tasting notes are clear, concise & informative. Overall, a very accessible wine list. BEST BUY WHITE 2009 Stefano Inama, Vulcaia Sauvignon Blanc, Veneto, Italy, £36.50. BEST BUY RED 2007 Colombaia, Rosso Toscano IGT, Tuscany, Italy, £34.50.
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