Zia Lucia (‘Aunty Lucia’) is a great pizzeria on the Holloway Road.
But if you’re after other Italian fare, you should walk right pasta.
Not too far, mind – because right next door is another member of the family, Berto, who specialises in fresh, hand-made pasta dishes.
Like its neighbour, Berto’s a cosy local spot with a clutch of tables (and queueing diners) out front, and bright, buzzy interiors. The centrepiece is the open kitchen at the back, separated off by a marble dining counter at which you can watch the chefs rolling, slicing and extruding the day’s pasta.
Along one wall is a striking futurist-style abstract mural, and crisp lighting bounces off marble tables and bentwood chairs. The place is filled with the hubbub of chatty diners and the clatter of pans in the kitchen.
The chefs have been trained up by the eponymous Berto, a friend of the Lucia team who’s run his own pasta place in Ronciglione for the past 25 years. Here, they roll out gnocchi, ravioli, pici and spaghetti in traditional, wholewheat and gluten free doughs every day, drenching them in white wine, olive and rabbit ragù; butternut squash velouté; and slow-cooked beef ragù.
There’s the classic cacio e pepe (though a little light on the pepe here); ricotta-stuffed ravioli topped with crispy sage; and gnocchi with ‘nduja and melted stracciatella. If you like your pasta al dente and robust, this is where to find it. They’re all served alongside a cast of starters and sides, from carefully sourced cured meats and cheeses to sourdough (courtesy of Dusty Knuckle) and lightly battered veg, all presented on colourful, specially commissioned hand-painted plates.
Naturally, to go with it all there are classic Italian spritzes, cocktails and wines by the jug-load – plus a trio of traditional desserts (including hand-piped cannoli) to top it all off.
It’s just a shame you cannoli eat so much.
NOTE: Berto is open daily 11.30am-10.30pm. You can find out more, and make a booking (recommended) via firstname.lastname@example.org
Berto | 155 Holloway Road, N7 8LX
Last Updated: 19th September 2019 | Images: Haydon Perrior
Holloway Road local? Take a trip to Westerns Laundry