SquareMeal Review of
There’s always a “fun atmosphere” at this Chingford ristorante, helped along by terrific service and some genuinely “authentic” food. Run by the same Italian family since 1984, L’Artista can sometimes feel a bit like a jovially convivial time-warp – although there’s no arguing with its staying power or reliability. Welcoming owners Batista and Franca are well known to a roll call of regulars who don’t bat an eyelid at the old-fashioned decor, the background music or the equally old-fashioned menu – even if prices are far from nostalgic. Regular hits from the seldom changing line-up range from garlicky king prawns with chilli to calf’s liver with butter and sage, via grilled sardines, pasta with crab (a regular favourite) or lamb with sauté potatoes and deep-fried courgettes. The fact the owners can regularly fill the place without a website or online bookings says a lot about L’Artista’s local reputation.