Stevie Parle started out his cooking career at the infamous River Café where other successful chefs have trained such as Theo Randall, Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver. Parle has since moved on to open Dock Kitchen, Rotorino, Sardine and Craft London. His latest edition is Italian restaurant Palatino, which looks to the food of Rome for its inspiration.
The restaurant is located in Clerkenwell on the ground floor of an office space, which it interconnects with at the back so you might spy some work activity going on. The restaurant displays an open kitchen and an exposed ceiling gives an industrial yet comfortably modern feel.
Starters: Speck, Finocchiona and Coppa and
Salt Cod Crudo and Blood Orange
My friend and I eat our way through parts of the menu with four courses each. I start with antipasti of Speck, finocchiona and coppa and my friend the Salt Cod Crudo, blood orange and 2016 cappezana olive oil. My selection of cured meats is of good quality and the friend makes short work of the salt cod.
Ravioli, Spinach and Squash
Next the primi, I have a delicious plate of spinach and squash ravioli, it’s truly outstanding; delicately thin pasta bathed in a rich, buttery yet deceptively light sauce. It’s a cracking dish. The friend has the Farro, beans, chard and porcini soup and likes the fresh taste of the dish but feels it’s too oily.
Farro, Beans, Chard and Porcini Soup
Bream, Onions, Pine nuts, Raisins and Vinegar
For secondi I have the Bream, onions, pine nuts, raisins and vinegar with a side of borlotti beans. It reminds me of a cold Venetian dish called sardines in soar. But this is far lighter and served hot, the bream is perfectly cooked and the onion mixture exudes wonderful sweet, sour, bitter and savoury notes. My friend has White Beans, artichoke and greens. There’s no complaint with the dish itself but for balance wishes she hadn’t of chosen another bean dish.
White beans, Artichoke and Treviso
Chocolate, Pistachio, Honeycomb
We finish with dolce. A lovely Tiramisu is creamy and dreamy, but could have packed more coffee flavour. The friend polishes off a lip-smackingly good Chocolate, pistachio and honeycomb.
We wash this all down with a crisp and lightly fragrant ‘skin-contact’ Pinot Grigio, Orsogna, Abruzzo 2014, espresso and cappuccino.
The food at Palatino is simple, flavourful and comforting. They could do with holding back on the olive oil in some of the dishes, but overall it didn’t distract. We waddled home stuffed in complete satisfaction. It was a very good meal indeed.
Antipasti from £3, primi from £8, secondi from £12.5 and dolci from £6.
Food I Fancy dines as a guest
71 Central Street
Tel: 020 3481 5300