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Fresh pasta restaurants are no longer the novelty they once were in London, but most of them are currently found in central locations, such as Borough (Padella), Soho (Pastaio) and Covent Garden (Bancone).
Now, though, a fresh pasta restaurant has made its way to the Islington/Holloway borders, with the arrival of Berto. The restaurant comes from the team behind pizzeria Zia Lucia, and is right next door to the original Zia Lucia site. The pizzeria is known for using non-traditional doughs, such as its charcoal and ‘green vegetable’ varieties, but Berto keeps things a little more conventional, serving up a selection of pasta made from traditional, wholemeal and gluten-free flours.
Pasta dishes to try include pappardelle, gnocchi and egg tagliatelle, alongside vegan pici and filled pasta such as ravioli. These are bookended by antipasti such as an assortment of fritti, while you can round off your meal with a selection of cheeses matched with Italian wines. These can all be enjoyed in the relaxed dining room, which features an open kitchen, counter seating and enough room for around 40 guests.
If you’re wondering about the name, Berto gets its moniker from a friend of the restaurant’s owners Claudio Vescovo and Gianluca d’Angelo, who is an expert pasta maker. The real-life Berto has helped train the staff at the London restaurant, having operated a pasta shop in Ronciglione, just north of Rome, for over 25 years.
The team behind the restaurant are confident it will be a success, as they plan to open five more branches over the next four years, although the location of these newer sites is yet to be revealed. The parent brand Zia Lucia already has a couple of siblings, with the original Holloway Road location joined by another in Brook Green and a third at the Wembley branch of food hall/retail concept Boxpark.