Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Although, in fairness, that was the builder’s original estimate.
And Stevie Parle’s nascent restaurant empire wasn’t exactly built overnight either. But given that he’s only 32, and already onto his fifth unique venue – the Rome-inspired Palatino (joining the critically exalted Rotorino and Craft London) – it’s not too far off, metaphor or not.
Set in Clerkenwell (which, by the way, was called “London’s Little Italy” up until the early 20th Century. Fun fact!), the place is named after one of Rome’s seven ancient hills, and comes with a neatly blended interior of cold concrete fittings and warm yellow upholstery. The open kitchen has a fresh pasta machine, and both a wood-burning and a stone oven, all of which means you get:
Including the likes of traditional fried sage leaves with apple & honey vinegar; fennel with pomegranate & ricotta; and Artichoke Judea, an old Roman-Jewish dish that involves an entire deep-fried artichoke. Appetite suitably whetted, then there’s the,
Mostly coming from the aforementioned pasta machine, it includes fresh ravioli with squash & spinach, or gnocchi all Romana (softer than the gnocchi you’re used to, these are baked in the oven and almost taste like polenta). Now it’s time for:
If you’ve never had chicken & pistachio meatballs, start here. Or you could just have some of their “hunter style” slow-cooked game. Or a native lobster with fennel & chilli. Then cap it all with,
You can’t really go wrong with an almond, lemon, and ricotta cake, or a chocolate & hazelnut tartuffi (it’s a bit like ice cream housed in a hard chocolate shell). And no Italian restaurant would be complete without some tiramisu.
After all. When in Rome.
NOTE: Palatino is open for lunch and dinner, Mon-Sat. You can book a table right HERE.
Palatino | 71 Central Street, EC1V 8AB
Like Stevie Parle restaurants? Of course you do. So check out Dock Kitchen, Rotorino, Craft London, and Sardine, too.