After 75 years in the business, Soho’s iconic Italian deli finally opened its first restaurant, Lina Stores Soho, in 2018.
And till recently, it’s been feeling cannelloni.
Happily, the family behind it all decided not to wait another near-century to open another, and have now unveiled their second restaurant in a revamped Victorian transit shed in King’s Cross.
And it’s beautiful.
While their Soho eatery is a cosy, intimate spot with counter dining and a few tables tucked away in a candlelit cellar, Lina Stores King’s Cross is a vast, airy Italian restaurant that effortlessly seats a hundred diners; boasting a cosy back bar stocked with Italian spirits; a retro, aluminium-slicked dining counter overlooking an open kitchen; a huge suntrap of an al fresco terrace; and a deli just like the original Lina Stores on Brewer Street. From the marbled floors to the opaline lighting; the trademark striped awnings over the dining booths and the vintage-styled fridges, there are few settings as atmospheric as this. Here’s how it breaks down:
On the menu, there’s many of the fresh pasta dishes that made the Soho debut a smash-hit: the agnolotti verdi with truffle and ricotta; the crab & scallop rondini; the pici with porcini mushrooms and Umbrian sausage. But there’s also a lot that’s new. And we’re not just talking pasta – although you will find additions like the pansotti (triangular ravioli) filled with gorgonzola, endive and walnut pesto; and pappardelle with ox-tail ragù and provolone. But they’ve also introduced non-pasta mains, including grilled prawns with schiacciatella (a kind of herby pizza) and ‘overnight beef cheeks’ (which sounds like a terrifying thing to wake up to, but is actually a delicious dish of beef slow-braised in Barolo red wine, with ceps and polenta).
They also serve – for the first time – breakfast, which could have been risky had it not involved truffled scrambled eggs on Puglian bread; Tuscan fennel sausage with cannellini beans; and nutella-filled breakfast donuts.
Piled up to the rafters with candy-coloured wrappers and panettone boxes hanging from the ceiling, the deli is a repository of artisanal Italian produce, from DOP cheeses and meats to confectionery, oils and vinegars, biscuits, wines, and jars of antipasti. Here, you can order panini sandwiches and pots of pasta to take away, or just stock up on exceptional products, all hand-picked from generation-old suppliers back in Italy.
Either way, there are good things in store.
NOTE: Lina Stores King’s Cross is open daily from 12pm-11.30pm. You can book a table HERE.
Lina Stores King’s Cross | 20 Stable Street, N1C 4DR
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