Trullo 22

300-302 St Paul's Road , London, N1 2LH

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SquareMeal Review of Trullo

Squaremeal London Hot 100 2016

“Always packed to the gills, Trullo hits the mark every time”, declaims a fan of this much-loved Islington spot. Everyone adores its lively (sometimes noisy) atmosphere, eager-to-please staff, calming contemporary interiors and a helpfully annotated regional wine list – not forgetting the “idiosyncratic Italian menu”. The “sublime” handmade pasta (perhaps pappardelle with exquisitely rich beef shin ragù, or ravioli of summer squash and sweet onions) is just the start. Also expect plates of wood pigeon with black figs and cobnut salad, baked skate wing with braised hispi cabbage and brown crab or char-grilled Dorset lamb rump with borlotti beans, datterini tomatoes and anchovy – “perfectly executed” dishes of top-drawer seasonal ingredients. To finish, we’re sold on the decadent chocolate tart and the regional Italian cheeses (Rocchetta Ubriaco) with matching wines. Be warned: this place is addictive.

Former Italian Wine List of the Year

At only 12 pages of wines, the Trullo list is a model of restraint, yet still manages to cover every region and style, with no wines (bar a couple of English fizzes) from outside Italy. Attractive, hand-drawn maps are a nice touch, and thumbs-up for the information on each wine – you’ll find details on the region, the grape, the alcohol level and the wine’s weight (on a scale of one to five) as well as personable tasting notes.

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8.4

Food & Drink: 8.0

Service: 8.9

Atmosphere: 8.0

Value: 8.2

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

adrain g. 21 April 2015

Always lively and at times noisy, depending on which table. Service very keen to please and such an interesting wine list with helpful comments. Fresh peas must have just become available as they came with carpaccio, gnudi and lamb rump. All different and each course delicious. Lemon sole and whole mackerel generous and good. Likewise the Amalfi lemon tart..

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Polly 11 May 2013

I have been to this restaurant a number of times and can't fault it in any way. The welcome is friendly, the service efficient, the food delicious and reasonably priced. I think Jay Rayner in the Observer once mentioned that they make running a restaurant look easy and they do. I wonder why more restaurants can't find the charming staff, make the simple but tasty food, and find delicious and reasonably priced wine – but we all know they can't. I feel lucky that this is my local restaurant and will come here again and again as long as they don't change it! My favourite thing on the menu is the pasta – surprisingly priced (only around £6 for a dish) and it's beautiful. Beef shin parpadelle, spicy tomato tagliatelle, nettle spaghetti, lemon and parmesan pici – I can't remember all the ones they do but it seems to be different every time you go in. Everything is good though. I can't recommend this restaurant enough.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Henry K. 11 October 2012

Our first visit to Trullo and it certainly will not be our last. We went the whole route of antipasta, primi, secondi and dessert. The food was very good indeed with some dishes, especially the Spaghetti with Hispi Cabbage and Bottarga, outstanding. The other dishes, essentially, were well prepared and presented, very tasty and as expected. The cheese was a little disappointing – seemingly well kept but looked like “end-cuts”. Service was excellent – attentive and responsive without being at all intrusive. Wine was reasonably priced and the server well informed and very helpful – we were given tasters of three different reds before deciding and a bottle of white was taken back as “bad” without even being presented. however, for my taste the wine was mostly too young and it could do with a slightly deeper range but that may be cost governed. Atmosphere is relaxed and informal but with the right level of tension for a fundamentally classy restaurant. One dish (the skate) was over cooked and unsatisfactory. The response was an immediate apology, offer of a replacement – same or different fish – and when that was demurred the item was voluntarily removed from the bill. I don't think one could have asked for more.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

David A. 06 August 2012

A wonderful restaurant, great for celebrating milestones. It's one of the few London restaurants that makes you want to eat the full Italian four-courses: antipasti (their meat plate is well sourced, with plenty of fatty wonders), primi (the beef shin ragu is sensational), secondi and dessert. It's not cheap but it's consistently excellent, and is worth every penny.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 5.0

Ursula B. 10 March 2012

Our first visit to Trullo and what a revelation. Looks like nothing from the outside (and the setting on St Paul's Road is dreary, busy with traffic and uninviting). The inside is also nothing to write home about – but oh, the food. The glorious, different, special, lovingly-prepared food. So wonderful. And staff that know the menu inside out and will spend as long as you want explaining it all to you. And they make you feel they are delighted to have you. You can tell they take real pride in the fact that all their food is cooked from scratch there during the afternoon. The salads stood out – leaves carefully chosen to balance each other in colour, texture and flavour and the most delicious dressing I have tasted in a long time. The olive oil for dipping bread was spicy and sharp – if you've ever tasted a ‘moreish’ olive oil (I hadn't), then this was it. When the mains arrived, everything lived up to expectations. Unusual ragu for me and a melting beef dish for him. The bill for 2 mains, 2 salads and a bottle of water, with bread and olives, came in shy of £60. We will be back – indeed we tried to get back tonight but the tables all taken. I am not surprised. I just hope this review doesn't drive hundreds to their door. Just in case, we've booked 2 weeks away!!! Truly excellent all round.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Junglefresh. gold reviewer 04 September 2011

What a shame ! Anyone who has read my reviews (not vain enough to think you do !) will know that I'm a "glass half full' person. So imagine, hard, intense day. Looking forward to trying Trullo out – booking made by our foodie friends who rave about their previous experience. I'm late for the 7.30pm time, unavoidably due to deadlines. Get there to be met outside with desperate young down and out dirty, desperate addict – I can't pass by without giving but am struck at the contrast just behind the glass. Dislike this area, always have. Don't get to do more than kiss my wife and greet our friends before a good looking charming waiter tells me that I can't have a starter as we must vacate the table by 9.30pm. Oh dear, wouldn't have come on this basis – who's supplying whom ? What tosh – ordered cabbage with brown shrimp – prep time 30 seconds, on table within 60. Cost of ingredients, 50p max (nice mark-up!) taste, surprisingly good. Value – not so sure. Wine – friend is knowledgeable so not bad but not cheap at over 22 quid at lower end of list. Onglet – yes the best bit of the meal, not tough and a tasty but again very cheap cut. Followed immediately by a reminder that we must leave and the bill. The staff were apologetic but no less crass. The Squaremeal review above suggests a cheapish place to eat, but the bill for four came to 186 pounds (rounding) which means that although the atmosphere was really quite good and the staff individually trying hard, this is going to rank very low indeed for a return trip even making allowances -as I have- for my own lateness. Sorry.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Helen C. 13 March 2011

After waiting 3 months to get a table at this restaurant I can only say that I was bitterly disappointed. My first course was ok,our main course was tasteless and dessert was okay. The food was unexciting (can cook better at home) and very overpriced. I must say that the staff were knowlegable and very receptive to our criticism and threw in dessert but unfortunately we will definitely not be going back.. DO NO T AND I REPEAT DO NOT RUSH (you can't because you have to wait so long for a table ) to this restaurant because there are hundreds of better restaurants in London – we are spoilt for choice – and this should not be your choice. Shame so looking forward to it…

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Ray B. 09 November 2010

This place is fantastic. great food on a menu that changes regularly. Brilliant value and great service. Islington has a new number 1 restaurant. Well done.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Hugh G. 08 July 2010

This is quite simply the best restaurant in Islington. After the sad passing of the Gill Wing Cafe and an absurd pc disaster which followed it, the premises have languished for too long and then suddenly, from nowhere, perfect short delicious menu, excellent wines, charming service and already crowded. Almost too good to be true – enjoy it quick before it fades.

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