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Behind the unassuming café-style front of shop on Camberwell Church Street lies one of the area’s least celebrated, yet properly good Italian restaurants. But don’t think you’ll wander in on a Friday evening without booking; the locals know all about it. The menu covers all the classics: risotto, a raft of enticing pasta dishes, pizza, serious hunks of fish and meat, and a mouthwatering specials board – everything served in monster portions. Perfectly cooked whole sea bass with a sauce of buttery brown shrimps was masterfully deboned at table, and came with crisp sautéed potatoes and just-tender veg. Grilled calf’s liver with bacon and sage arrived lightly charred, succulent and pungently herbal. Service is back-slappingly jovial – the waiters have clearly worked here since the place opened and they know their regulars. The interior is all gilt-framed artworks (Caravaggio, of course) with heavy wooden tables and floral wallpaper, but the venue remains cosy, unpretentious and brilliant value.
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