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782 Holloway Road
Named after the iconic Fiat Cinquecento, this personally run “Italian local” 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 deftly made pastas always high on the agenda – perhaps tagliatelle with clams and bottarga (cured mullet roe), strozzapreti with slow-cooked beef ragù or ravioli stuffed with Italian sausage and spinach. Main courses such as baked rabbit in porcini sauce with sautéed potatoes or char-grilled whole sea bream with Belgian endive and green sauce might leave you feeling stuffed, but it’s worth saving room for some tiramisu or the coppa 500 (poached quince and raisins in caramel and cinnamon, served with hazelnut ice cream and chocolate sauce). Old-fashioned service adds to the atmosphere, and the thoughtful wine list is a rewarding trek through Italy's regional vineyards.
To celebrate the Year of the Woman, SquareMeal is running a series of interview profiles with top female chefs. Read here about Marianne Lumb’s colourful career as a private chef and the benefits of operating one of London’s smallest kitchens.
Best restaurants in North London
782 Holloway Road
020 7272 3406
Archway Tube Station 242m
Upper Holloway Station 273m
St. George's Theatre 896m
Odeon Cinema Holloway 1km
Mon-Sat 6-10.30pm Fri-Sun 12N-3pm (Sun -9pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
We both enjoyed the food a lot, the staff were very welcoming, friendly and attentive.
We visited 500 on our anniversary and must say we both had doubts due to it's location but we were very satisfied when we left, we will definitely visit again.
The price was slightly higher than what we usually like to pay and the seating plan could be better but don't let this put you off this great restaurant.
Food + drink: 5
This was the second time I have dined at this restaurant, the last time about 2 years ago – the food and evening was excellent.
This time my partner wanted to take me out and I invited my adult daughter and her partner. The restaurant was less than half full when we arrived and in the ten minutes we waited for my daughter, it became totally full. The staff did not hassle and all through the evening it was attentive but very relaxed and not at all pushy.
For starters, we ordered one of the mixed hors d'oeuvre and two small starters. One of our number is a non meat eater and there was plenty of choice in the dishes plus the variety of complimentary breads.
For mains we had one pasta order, one bream and two lamb plus two mixed salads for sharing. All the dishes were very good – the pasta was said to be the best my partner had ever had!
We all had desserts, two coupe and two tiramisu followed my coffees – all good.
We drank a bottle of Prosecco followed by an excellent bottle of red, identified by my daughter.
We drank, afe, talked in a totally relaxed way and were one of the last two tables to leave.
Total cost for the four of us was about £140
Not cheap but good for a special night out.
According to my opinion, it's one of the under-rated, hidden gems in town. Staff are attentive, friendly. Food is simply executed, full of flavour and not the last generous portions.
I have tried tagliere 500, gnocchi al sugo di salciccia, costolette d'abbacchio and tiramisu'.
Heaven at earthly prices.
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