Palatino is the fifth restaurant by Stevie Parle, following on from Dock Kitchen, Rotorino, Craft and Sardine. This time you’ll find him serving up Italian food with a particular focus on Rome. Despite being located on a somewhat unassuming street between Clerkenwell and Old Street, it was PACKED on a very rainy Thursday night – be sure to book ahead.
We might have mentioned that it was our birthday (what can we say – we get very excited!) and were kindly given a couple of complimentary glasses of prosecco.
Getting stuck into the menu, we found that we wanted to order EVERYTHING. It’s a mouth-watering list of all our favourite ingredients.
We started with salt cod crudo which was unlike any we’d tried before – in a great way! Forget the dried and salted stuff you might have had, this is fat juicy slabs of fish, peppered with juicy camone tomatoes and swimming in award winning capezzana olive oil. We also devoured toast, spread with oozy, milky stracciatella cheese and topped with one juicy anchovy a piece, which provided just the touch of salty fishiness you’d want per bite.
Onto the pasta course (oh how we love the Italian tradition of a cheeky pasta course!) where our favourite tonarelli cacio e pepe was absolute perfection. Perfectly al dente and creamy thanks to the pecorino but with a depth to it like none other – we didn’t want it to end. In fact we still find ourselves dreaming of it.
It’s hard to call a favourite meat course – both the chicken, pancetta and pistachio meatballs on polenta and the saltimbocca (prosciutto wrapped veal in masala sauce), served with spinach jostle for first place. I’d eat both again in one sitting given half a chance.
In fact I’m ashamed to say that at the point in the evening where you should start thinking about dessert, we got a little side tracked.
When a waiter delivered a plate of ragu to the table next to us, before we knew what had happened we’d ordered it ourselves. Slathered in parmesan and served on bombolotti (similar to rigatoni) we don’t regret a bite.
If you can’t order pasta for dessert on your birthday – when can you?
We’ve heard they serve breakfast spaghetti carbonara on weekdays – so it appears they are in full agreement.