Credit goes to Deansa, who spotted this newish (well, at least to us) Sicilian place on Gray's Inn Road. It's excellent, high calibre stuff in a down-to-earth atmosphere.
Excellent air-dried tuna "prosciutto" -- thin slices of tuna with a concentrated meaty flavour, salty and almost hammy, slightly supple in texture if a tiny bit fragile. A pleasant artichoke and green olive salad on the side, vegetal and tangy for contrast.
A broad bean soup had good beany flavour, rustic and slightly coarsely textured without being lumpy. Topped with grilled squid that balanced tenderness and resilience.
The light thin tomato sauce over the basil ravioli with sea urchin and ricotta was outstanding, vivid and clear and tangy, lifted by the basil. The thin delicate, ravioli had just the right bite of al dente to them, the ricotta within dominating the filling, with a lovely background of ocean from the sea urchin and bits of its sweetness.
Intense sun and sea in the bucatini (again, just the perfect resistance in each bite), big flavours from capers and sun-dried tomato sounding off one another, along with raisins that bring complex layers of sweet and sour to sardines. Topped with toasted breadcrumbs for tiny bites of crunch and crackle. (Would have loved some pine nuts in here, but nobody's perfect.)
Great lightly toasted pistachio coating a semifreddo, with a melon jelly that seemingly tasted of watermelon and cinnamon.
Classic cannoli, filled with lightly sweetened ricotta, coated with small chocolate chips on one end and crushed pistachio on the other. The shells were light and crisp.
The zibbibo handled the food well, the aromatic fruit and flowers, along with the dry acidity complemented the bucatini best imho.
A marsala superiore (Carlo Pellegrino, NV) was pleasant but nothing extraordinary, a woodsy sherry-like sweetness. More complexity from a Passito di Pantelleria (Carlo Pellegrino 2011) with orange and citrus zest.
Starters ~£10, pasta ~£11, meat & fish ~£15, desserts ~£6.
91-93 Gray’s Inn Road
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