*Please note that this was written before I turned vegan*
Italy has to be one of the most unique, magical places in the whole world. The quaint towns are full of winding back streets, the people have the most relaxed, friendly personalities and, OF COURSE, the food is to die for. So, I was over the moon when the lovely team from the adorable little trattoria, Rossella, in Kentish Town, invited me down for an Italian style feast last Friday!
As soon as I stepped in, I felt as though I was back in Italy. The restaurant has a real buzz to it whilst feeling totally relaxed, the walls are lined with photos of the restaurant’s founders and their family, you can hear Italian accents bouncing back and forth in the kitchen and there’s an aroma of authentic Italian herbs that had me droooooling immediately!
There’s a reason why this restaurant has such an authentic, family feel. The restaurant is born out of the Rossella family’s passion for food which has been passed down through the generations. We were waited on by Luca, Rossella’s son, whose passion for food is so abundantly clear and we were made to feel so welcome!
Here’s the starter menu which, as you can see, is incredibly hard to pick from because it all sounds so damn good. They also offer a brilliant range of specials which the staff take you through when you first arrive. Check out the full menu here.
After a long while trying to decide what to have, we kicked things off with the Caprese di Buffala. For those of you playing at home, that’s seasonal vine tomatoes with creamy buffalo mozzarella, pesto, basil and homemade foccacia. Everything about this dish was amazing. The insanely perfected texture of the mozzarella teamed with the delicate pesto flavour and the crunch of the focaccia bread was amazing. Even though it was a generous portion, it felt super light and allowed us enough room to indulge in a second starter (Whaaat? You would’ve done the same).
I’m always a little hesitant when I order fried items from restaurants, because I think they’ll either be really heavy or they’ll be dripping in grease so much that you can’t even pick them up. Well, Rossella has perfected the fried good thang. This was the Caprino Fresco – Goats cheese fried in breadcrumbs and served with cranberry sauce. The goats cheese was the ideal balance of creamy and crumbly and the layer of breadcrumbs around the outside didn’t feel heavy at all. It was complimented perfectly by the fresh, leafy greens and the totally ‘moreish’ sauce, which almost felt more like a jam. Both starters were honestly divine.
At this point, the restaurant is really starting to fill up. Everyone there is super relaxed and it has the NICEST vibe to it. There are couples (young and old), groups of friends and families and it became clear to me that this wasn’t the first time for a lot of people. The number of regulars always speak volumes for the quality of food at a restaurant! The takeaway orders were flying out the door and there was also a queue at the little ice cream stand. This place clearly has a great reputation already.
Next, it was time to welcome the mains, which we did with open arms and drooling mouths. I mean, look at them. Chris and I shared the Penne All’Arrabiata which was Sicilian olives and fresh chilli cooked in a Napoli sauce and served with basil and parmesan, as well as the Valentina pizza which was topped with mushrooms, rocket, sundried tomatoes, mascarpone & basil.
Both meals were exquisite. The flavours in the pasta were so fresh and vibrant and even though I’m not an olive fan, I definitely think they worked in this dish. It took me a while to get started on the pizza because I couldn’t pry myself away from this dish!
Once I got started on the pizza though, I could see why this was one of Luca’s favourites. The marscapone created a creamy base for the pizza which kind of melted in your mouth. It was so good that we asked to take the 1.5 slices that were leftover home with us, because we couldn’t bear to leave any! Please remember that this is a judgement free zone, ha!
But, isn’t it just such a shame when you get to the end of a meal and you can’t fit a dessert in? KIDDING. Literally when has that ever happened to anyone? Everyone knows you tap into your second dessert stomach. Obvs we went with the highly recommended homemade tiramisu, comprised of tia maria, amaretto and served with a scoop of stracciatella gelato. DROOL. Every bite was to die for and there were so many amazing flavours and textures.
After stopping to appreciate just how good the food was that we’d just indulged in, we said our goodbyes and left the restaurant feeling like we’d been on a little mini getaway to Naples, singing ‘That’s Amore’ as we wandered into the night. I mean, this didn’t 100% happen but you get the point. This restaurant does everything right – Atmosphere, Food, Service and it has that thing that you just can’t put your finger on that makes you feel right at home. I cannot recommend this place enough.
Ciao! TLLF x