Jason Allen 11/12/23


Not everything about Dalla is small.

Sure, the space is petite (‘cosy’ the estate agent would say reassuringly). The menu is tiny, with just over a dozen items at any time. And the wine list isn’t so much a list as a post-it.

But the flavours? Are huge.

The people who can claim the credit are the power trio of the Leone brothers and Mitchell Damota. The former fraternal duo are a pair of Italian designers, while the latter is the Canadian chef who knocked everyone’s socks off with his stints at both P Franco and Burro E Salvia. Now they’ve teamed up, and taken over the Hackney space that used to house Peg. Unfortunately it seems that Peg was the square peg in the Dalla-shaped hole, so it closed, and this place opened. And a good thing too.


You’ll find it sat on a quiet corner of Morning Lane, where it’s large windows (shyly curtained half way up along their length) let in fat shafts of light. The place feels intimate and inviting, and a stripped-back vibe of understated elegance, with stark white-clothed tables sitting on wooden floors polished to a buttery sheen. All the little touches seem to have been through through, from doorknobs to draperies. There’s even an old fashioned telephone, with a cord and a ‘brrring-brrrring’ bell that feel like it was pulled from the ’50s.


On that haiku of a menu you’ll find an ever-changing lineup of home-style Italian dishes, and not just fresh pasta. Though, there’s plenty of that, calm down. You might find an omelette-style frittatina, made from a fried medallion of pasta brushed with a balsamic glaze; or a light, crepe-like testaroli made from chestnut flour topped with walnut pesto & fresh garlic; or a blush pink radicchio salad mingled with vinegar soaked apples that seem to balance sweet, savoury, salty, sour, and bitter flavours in one mouthful.


To compliment all of that, there are a few very basic, very classic, very well done cocktails (a negroni, a spritz, a martini, you get the idea) as well as that tightly curated & equally lovely wine list. As openings go…

…this is a big one.


NOTE: Dalla is open now, Thursday to Saturday. You can find out more, and make a booking on their website right here.

Dalla | 120-122 Morning Ln, London E9 6LH

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120-122 Morning Ln, Hackney, East London, E9 6LH

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