A casual neighbourhood trattoria, Brutto is serving up simple and high quality flavours that will whisk you away to Tuscany with classic Florentine dishes. Located in the heart of Farringdon, Brutto is serving London's relentless hunger for Italian food with new and exciting dishes to tempt diners through the door.
'Brutto' is Italian for ugly - the restaurant is anything but, though it does have a more rustic, barebones charm about it. Moody lighting softens the restaurant's rougher edges, and classic red and white tablecloths adorn the wooden tables. One corner of the restaurant is tiled in red, white and green, in homage to the iconic Florentine trattoria Sostanza. It is clearly more than just a Florentine menu - restaurateur Russell Norman has done his homework to make this every inch an authentic Florentine experience, such as an absence of fish from the menu!
The philosophy of the menu, they say, is 'simplicity, quality, authenticity and big flavours,' and the menu certainly seems to deliver on all those fronts. To start, there's simple antipasti - anchovies with bread and butter, cannellini and rosemary crostini, chicken liver crostini and coccoli - Florentine fried dough balls - with prosciutto and stracchino cheese.
A handful of pasta dishes follow but it's the secondi that truly continue the Florentine vibe - peposo (a Tuscan beef and black pepper stew), fennel sausage with braised lentils and mustard, and bistecca alla Fiorentina all appear at very reasonable prices. For those with a sweet tooth there's a simple but comforting dessert choice - tart, tiramisu, brutti ma buoni - 'ugly but good' hazelnut meringue biscuits with gelato. Wines are equally well-priced, as are cocktails (a negroni is just £5, for example).
A word of warning, they are not a silent restaurant! Enjoy a variety of live music which, coupled with the natural buzz, might mean it'll be rather loud!