La Barca | Waterloo Restaurant
By Izzy Gormezano Marks
With a fake terracotta roof and giant model ship above the front door, it’s impossible not to love this long standing, traditional Italian ristorante (these guys had a blue neon sign before Tracy Emin made it fashionable).
It’s the kind of place you’ve probably walked passed several times, never quite knowing if it’s effortlessly charming or on the brink of expiry. We’re pleased to report that it’s most definitely the former.
For over 40 years, La Barca has served up traditional food from Tuscany as well as other regions across Italy, making it the ultimate destination for classics. Our favourite has to be the House speciality – spaghetti with mixed seafood and tomato sauce, cooked in a paper bag.
They’ve got a good handle on it.
That’s accompanied by dishes like pappardelle alla campagniola (pasta with Italian pork sausage and brandy); freshly grilled fish, filleted at your table; and – for the more adventurous – panfried calf’s liver and garlicky veal kidneys served with rice.
Crammed amidst wine racks and signed portraits of famous patrons, tables are laden with those all-important generous bread baskets, leaving you abuzz with atmosphere and charm, as well as attentive service from waistcoated waiters. All that remains is to take your pick from the nearly all-Italian wine list (sectioned by region, so the well-versed of you out there are more than likely to find your tipple or two of choice).
Hence why the bread basket is so important.
NOTE: La Barca is open Mon-Fri 12-2.30pm & 6-11.30pm, and Sat 6-11.30pm. You can find out more, and make a reservation, HERE.
La Barca | 80-81, Lower Marsh, SE1 7AB
Like old-school restaurants? Try Meson Don Felipe down the road