I love Italian food.
Pasta, pizza, prosciutto, parmesan, gelato, wine… what’s not to love? Our trip to Rome last year still stands out in my mind for some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. (I still dream about Angelina’s pork’s cheek carbonara.)
We’re incredibly lucky in London to have such a diverse population. There are people from all over the world living in the city, which makes for an incredible restaurant and street food scene. And Italian food is no exception.
I’ve already told you about my favourite pizza place, waxed lyrical about this pumpkin ravioli, and even had a go at making my own oven-cooked pizza… but I think it’s about time I shared something a little bit fancier.
La Tagliata is a gorgeous little restaurant in central London, serving some SERIOUSLY good food. Looking for a special date night spot? This is the one.
La Tagliata is housed in a tiny building, tucked away on a little street not far from Liverpool Street station. As a listed building, the Italian owners (Carlo, Lorenzo and Federica – so Italian!) had to work around walls they couldn’t knock down, and features they couldn’t get rid of. So they made the most of those individual spaces.
The result is a quirky, interesting but elegant space, decorated in the style of an old Italian villa. Tables are scattered across the different “rooms”, with each room having its own particular theme: the Cellar, the Library, the Music Room, the Study, and the Pantry.
From pasta makers in the Pantry, to a cello strung up on the wall in the Music Room, the attention to detail is fantastic, and the final effect is warm, authentic, and super stylish.
Which is actually a pretty accurate description of the food too!
We had a selection of starters to share:
Fresh, home-baked breads, and a tagliere (sharing board) of gorrrrgeous Italian charcuterie (the bresaola was especially good), parmesan and marinated artichokes.
The caprese salad: creamy buffalo mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, soft avocado, and a drizzle of fragrant basil oil. Simple but effective.
I LOVE aubergine, so the melanzane alla parmigiana was one of my favourite dishes of the night. Slices of aubergine, layered with tomato sauce, parmesan and mozzarella, then baked in the oven until hot and bubbly… mmm!
We also shared several plates of their mixed bruschettas. These were all crunchy and full of flavour, and I think my favourite was the caponata siciliana, which surprised me because I HATE both olives and capers. But it was just so good!
Now, La Tagliata’s famous main dish is their beef sirloin, served on a bed of rocket and tomatoes, with parmesan and balsamic glaze. I’m desperate to go back and try it (doesn’t it sound delicious?!), but we were there for something else this time…
Summer is fast approaching, so the owners gathered together a team of foodies for dinner, to help decide one of the new dishes for the restaurant’s seasonal menu.
We taste-tested two plates of fantastic fresh pasta, and had to vote on our favourite. (Tough job, but someone’s gotta do it eh?). The winner would be added to the summer menu.
Option A: Fresh gnocchi, with an asparagus, gorgonzola and cream sauce, served with fresh asparagus and crushed pistachios.
Option B: Tagliatelle in a creamy Sicilian red pesto sauce, made with tomatoes, ricotta, pine nuts, almonds, and fresh basil.
Both were absolutely delicious, but one of the dishes was a clear favourite. (Drum roll please.)
And the winner is…
The Gnocchi won. And I’m SO glad because it was by far my favourite! Soft gnocchi, with tangy gorgonzola sauce, crisp asparagus, and a scattering of crunchy pistachios… Beautiful.
And it’s officially going on their summer menu, so now you guys can enjoy it too!
We rounded off our meal in style:
Tiramisu (of course – is it even an Italian restaurant without tiramisu on the menu?). This was really good, but it did get kind of lost in a sea of pretty spectacular puddings.
Il Tortino is a warm chocolate with a soft, gooey middle, and plenty of crunchy pistachios crumbled over the top. It’s very rich, and I don’t think I could have managed a whole one, but it was SO good.
And last, but absolutely not least: the salted caramel panacotta. Which is exactly as delicious as it sounds. This light, smooth, creamy pudding is one of my favourite Italian desserts, and the addition of salted caramel makes this one really special.
I really really liked La Tagliata! The staff were friendly and helpful, the food was fantastic, and I really loved the villa decor.
I’ve got it bookmarked for dinner with my parents next time they’re in town, or maybe even for a fancier date night or catch up with the girls. And if you’re looking for a venue for celebrations, you can book out whole rooms for your party, without any booking fees or pre-payments! Perfect for birthdays or family get-togethers.
Definitely one to add to your list guys!