Although not an obvious choice for winter (I mean, who likes hanging around the Hackney Riviera after dark?) Gotto Trattoria is such a gorgeous neighbourhood gem that it deserves a visit all year round.
Whilst in summer you’re likely to find the glass doors wide open, vermouth flowing and dogs dozing at your feet, in the winter we found Gotto to be super cosy with a rustic charm (and there was still a dog dozing at our feet!)
Situated in the newish, canal side Here East complex – neighbours with the likes of the Breakfast Club and Randy’s Wing Bar – we were impressed with how it managed to retain its authentic individuality.
This is the second site from the team behind Soho’s much loved Mele e Pere so you’re in pretty safe hands when it comes to solid Italian fare. The menu is concise and feels considered, changing each day to reflect the season. You won’t find hundreds of pizza and pasta dishes, and it felt all the more sophisticated for it.
We recommend starting with the insanely addictive deep-fried olives, stuffed with gorgonzola – you might need to order a second portion!
Fully paid up members of the Burrata fan club, we loved it on the dinky pizzetta’s, saving us the trouble of decanting said cheese to bread ourselves. Cut into quarters, all the small plates are perfect for sharing, family style. Tuna carpaccio was like nothing we’ve ever tried before. Thin slices had a mermaid’s tail luminescence to it, with a subtle smoked finish that likened it to a meaty smoked salmon. Superb.
And whilst we’d happily hoover up all the small plates, the pasta section is the real highlight.
Homemade lasagne came in a piping hot terracotta bowl, the definition of hygge if ever we’ve seen it. Rich, decadent and a real treat worth falling into a carb coma for. The stuffed ravioli was some of the best we’ve had. Large, flavoursome and perfectly al dente, we appreciated the staff leaving a huge bowl of parmesan on our table and swinging by with the pepper mill.
Service was super friendly and welcoming without being forced – we could happily spend a few hours here.
Not quite ready to leave we tried both the red and white homemade vermouth’s and both desserts. Tiramisu and Affogato, simple, understated and delicious. Which perfectly sums up Gotto too.
We’ll certainly be back in the summer, but there’s no reason to leave it that long to visit.
Loved it so much you want to attempt to recreate it? Well lucky for you, Gotto has also recently launched a pasta masterclass.
Sit around the pasta bar and watch the chefs prepare a pasta menu for you from scratch.
Pasta Masterclass – April 6th 7pm (£30)
Homemade Vermouth & nibbles
Tagliatelle with fresh Umbria black truffle
Tortello with goat’s cheese, wild mushroom, Grana Padano cheese
Black ink farfalle, silver prawns, baby San Marzano tomatoes
Pernigotti chocolate taglierini, raspberry and white chocolate