If you’ve seen the very entertaining The Pengest Munch on YouTube, you will know that Finsbury Park is gaining a bit of a rep for quality eateries that don’t bust the budget.
Situated round the back of the tube station, next to the theatre and a stones throw from the sequinned stretch that is Fonthill Road, Pasta Remoli is no bog standard pasta joint, these guys serve up credible Italian food in an atmosphere that’s friendly and informal, with wooden floorboards, brick walls and an industrial decor.
And while dining establishments in these parts tend to come and go (most recently we said bye bye to Exeter St Bakery and Chicken Shop/Dirty Burger in nearby Holloway Road), some stand the test of time.
Here’s hoping that Pasta Remoli is a stayer as Roman chef Simone Remoli, who has previously supplied top Italian restaurants and chefs including Quo Vadis and Aldo Zilli, clearly has a passion for bringing authentic, honestly prepared food to the masses.
“You’d better eat that before I do,” said my youngest dining companion, 10 year-old Oliver, during our starters of Fritto Misto – deep fried calamari, whitebait and prawns, and the utterly divine Caprese with Fried Buffalo Mozzarella balls, which were served with tomato and basil. This was a good start as Oliver is a very fussy eater, although he will eat a bowl of olives with no hesitation.
“I must say the food is better than I thought it would be,” my partner David remarked as we tucked into our main courses – Spaghetti Carbonara for Oliver; a traditional Tuscan dish for David – Crostino with Chicken Liver that’s been marinated for 24 hours in olive oil, herbs and paprika, then pan fried with shallots, almond flakes and served on toasted bread with basil pesto – which he proclaimed as ‘delicious; and a generous, carb-tastic yet heavenly plate of Pappardelle & Sausage Ragu for me.
Also on the menu, you have the option to ‘bespoke’ your food – choose your pasta (as you would expect, all the pasta and sauces are handmade), choose your sauce then top with one of five cheeses.
Offers include ‘buy any pasta and get the second for half price or kids eat for free,’ everyday between 3-5pm. The three course pre-theatre set menu which includes a glass of wine or prosecco is exceptionally good value at £15 per person and is available between 5-6.30pm.
The sweetest final flourish which simply had to be done (when in Rome and all that) – scoops of creamy gelati all round. Stupendo!