Knock, knock, knock­ing on leaven’s door


IN CASE you want to get in a last splurge of pizza and pasta be­fore they be­come for­bid­den over Pe­sach, here are our top 10 places to get your carb fix. Per­haps you have cleared out your cup­boards a mite pre­ma­turely? No need to start the un­leav­ened sea­son early. Just pop out to one of these.


One of our favourite north Lon­don Ital­ian bistros is Incontro on Crouch Hill in north Lon­don, where chef Mor­ris Or­lando and his part­ner Sara Meli look af­ter you as if you are in their own home. It is hard to choose a favourite dish but, if we had to sin­gle out one, we would feast on creamy, com­fort­ing gnoc­chi saraceni with ta­leg­gio cheese and crushed pis­ta­chios. in­con­trorestau­ BERNARDI’S

This so­phis­ti­cated but re­laxed mod­ern Ital­ian all-day brasserie in Port­man Vil­lage is our choice when we are out and about in cen­tral Lon­don. The stand-out dish is the rich fet­tuc­cine with Paris Brown mush­rooms and black truf­fle.


Rullo’s Pizzeria in Cam­den, north west Lon­don is the sec­ond ven­ture from Amie In­gram and Sal­va­tore Rullo, fol­low­ing on from their suc­cess­ful Ital­ian bistro in Ken­sal Rise, sim­ply called Rullo’s. Here you will find a tra­di­tional wood-fired pizza oven, brought all the way from Naples. We find it hard to resist the veg­e­tar­ian crusted ri­cotta pizza with au­bergine, cherry to­ma­toes, ar­ti­chokes, moz­zarella and fresh basil. For pasta lovers we rec­om­mend trofie with pesto, pine nuts and green beans. rul­ AN­TO­NIO’S

Hid­den away from the bus­tle of Up­per Street in Is­ling­ton, north Lon­don is fam­ily-owned and fam­ily-friendly An­to­nio’s, of­fer­ing spe­cial­i­ties from Cal­abria. There is an an­tipasti bar up­stairs but we prefer to sit down­stairs and gorge on can­nel­loni with ri­cotta, spinach and parme­san, baked in a tomato sauce. an­to­nios­ris­


In Lon­don’s Covent Gar­den, we love sim­ple and au­then­tic Orso, sis­ter restau­rant to Joe Allen and linked to it via a sub­ter­ranean pas­sage. Orso has been serv­ing mod­ern sea­sonal Mi­lanese fare since 1985 and our dish of choice here is the pizza di capra, with goat’s cheese, spinach and black olives. or­sorestau­


With branches in Hen­don, Edg­ware and Gold­ers Green, Amaretto is wellplaced for north-west Lon­don­ers. Head chef and owner Flo Ba­jij learnt his trade in south­ern Italy and has brought a true taste of his home coun­try to north Lon­don.

Some­times we like to keep things re­ally sim­ple, so we go for the spaghetti zin­gara with just olive oil, gar­lic and chili. We also love the Etna pizza, with moz­zarella cheese, tomato, aubergines, black olives, onions and chilli, topped with an egg. amaret­toris­


Bright and spa­cious and decked out in sunny yel­low and vi­brant blue, Kiss Kiss in El­stree, Hert­ford­shire al­ways makes us feel as though we are on hol­i­day. It does both pizza and pasta with black truf­fle and, as this is one of our favourite flavours, we pop in when­ever we can. kisskiss-ital­ SEVEN

Seven is a New York-style lit­tle gem in Har­row, Mid­dle­sex and in the short time it has been there, it has made a real im­pres­sion. The sour­dough pizza base is made on-site ev­ery day us­ing just flour salt and water and is crispy and chewy at the same time. We love the Green One, with cour­gette, as­para­gus and spinach — and the Nutella pizza dough­nut for dessert. sev­en­restau­


Right on Cam­bridge Cir­cus, at the heart of Lon­don’s West End, Vico is the per­fect pit­stop pre- and post- theatre. We or­der the fet­tuc­cine with fin­ferli (chanterelle) mush­rooms and parme­san and the basil pesto spaghetti with pine nuts, then share both. Be warned: the in-house gela­te­ria on the way out is hard to resist.


A Hamp­stead favourite, Mimmo la Bufala is a lively Ital­ian fine-din­ing restau­rant, fea­tur­ing favourite dishes with con­tem­po­rary flair. Time Out listed it in the top 10 pizza haunts Lon­don but we love the orec­chi­ette alla Sofia, pasta shells with fresh spinach, sun­dried tomato, gar­lic and ri­cotta cheese. mim­mo­lab­u­

Louisa Wal­ters and Kate Posener are founders of The Restau­rant Club, a pri­vate mem­bers’ scheme of­fer­ing dis­counts at in­de­pen­dent and in­di­vid­ual restau­rants in and around Lon­don, ther­estau­rant­ Crispy, chewy per­fec­tion: sour­dough pizza at Seven

Vico’s fet­tucine with fin­ferli and parme­san

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