Cattivo may be Italian for naughty…
…but it’s really very nice.
And that’s fairly unsurprising given that it’s the third spot from the capable hands behind London Fields’ Martello Hall and Brixton’s Canova Hall. You’ll find Cattivo, funnily enough, planted right opposite the latter, set in a huge, airy space that was once part of the first purpose-built department store in the country and – prepare to seriously impress your date – the first steel frame building in the country.
That industrial aesthetic has been put in pole position here – you’ll enter to find yourself in a vast, high-ceilinged, open-plan space with bare plastered walls, stripped-back cement columns and floor-to-ceiling windows. They’ve filled the void with cosy candlelit tables and chairs, plus stools around higher tables for bigger groups; an open kitchen behind a zinc-topped counter; and a retro-style bar stacked with Italian spirits.
That open kitchen is the source of all the ridiculously delicious Italian goodness you’ll find on the menu; from small plates like fried anchovies, ‘Nduja and Taleggio arancini (fried rice balls) and whipped ricotta with honey and nut dukkah; all the way up to roast chestnut and kale gnudi, slow-cooked beef ragù with pappardelle, and vegan linguine with pistachio pesto. You can score all this for brunch at the weekend, too, alongside unlimited bottles of prosecco, bowls of rum punch and Bloody Maries.
Of course, if you prefer someone else to mix your poison, you’ll want to head downstairs to their navy blue, subterranean drinking den; with private booths (complete with private minibars and bartenders) screened off by velvet curtains; a live music stage backed with upcycled subway tiles; and another, neon-lit bar – sporting a not unsizeable collection of absinthe. Prop yourself up here, and you’ll be able to taste their house gin (produced in Victor, the dinky copper still just to your right), or sip on cocktails like the Go Nuts, with rum, burnt brown sugar and walnut concentrate, served in a wood-smoked glass; the Irn Bru and prosecco spritz; or the charmingly named Blood On The Carpet, a multifaceted concoction that involves, amongst others, hot sauce, port reduction, and a stick of crispy bacon.
Aaand just in case there was ever a possibility of you not being completely entertained by what’s on offer, they’ve also got a load of events and performances lined up every week, namely:
Liquor Club | Book in on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening, pull up a stool, and the barkeeps will serve up as many cocktails as you like from their monthly-changing shortlist, for two hours (£30pp).
Bad-A-Bad-A-Bingo | Wednesday is essentially pub quiz night… only with a Cards Against Humanity round.
Gin Masterclasses | Thursdays – Saturdays will play host to gin cocktail masterclasses and blending workshops, after which you’ll have two bottles of bespoke gin to take home.
Live Music | Friday nights boast DJ sets till 10pm, followed by their incredible house band, who play 90s house music, disco-style (trust us, it works).
Showtime Brunch | Every Saturday from 12-5pm, you’ll be treated to a sharing feast of pasta and small plates (with refills if you’re hungry), mix-and-match booze, and a two hour show afterwards, from cabaret to drag performers and dancers.
Super Soul Sundays | Tune in to live jazz and soul every Sunday from 3pm, with a £5 cover charge.
Which, all considered…
…makes the place pretty cattiv-ating.
NOTE: Cattivo is open Tuesday – Sunday, from noon till late. You can find out more, and book, on their website HERE.
Cattivo | 207 Ferndale Road, SW9 8BA
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