A meal at Palatino, Clerkenwell
***this restaurant has since closed down***
I have been a fan of Stevie Parle for ages, ever since I was given his first book to review years ago and started going to his first restaurant in London The Dock Kitchen.
He has since published more books, been on TV and opened a few more Dock Kitchen off springs, from Craft in Greenwich to the very latest venture in central London called Palatino, named after one of Rome’s seven hills.
A new Italian restaurant focused on the food of Rome from Stevie Parle
When my sister was here a couple of weeks ago for the Mozzarella roads event, we arranged for a couple of hours of baby sitting and rushed off to have a deserved lunch break.
Palatino is on Central Street, right across the community cookery school I have hired many times in the past for networking events (Central Street Cookery School). Right now, the school is surrounded by new, modern and fairly anonymous buildings, and it is in one of them that Fora London (co working space) is located; within Fora, on the ground floor in a bright, modernly set City-like dining room, is Palatino. Stevie’s restaurants are usually focused on the food as well as on the design, the Dock Kitchen ad Craft famously designed by Tom Dixon. Palatino is no less attractive a space, with open plan long kitchen, a smart bar and large windows overlooking the road, with high ceiling with now omnipresent air con conducts hanging openly.
The menu reads very authentic, and has plenty of seasonal ingredients with some concessions to ‘creativity’ steering away with classic Roman staples. Wine list is pretty decent too. I did not drink but @bmcboy enjoyed a fruity glass of Pinot Grigio blush.
I wanted to try a couple of things, so ordered Tonnarelli Cacio & Pepe, chosing the ‘small portion’ (a steal at £6.50 for central London!) and Artichoke, beans and broccoli which is a vegetarian main. TroppoBuono chose puntarelle salad, which was crisp and perfectly seasoned with a light vinaigrette as the Romans do, followed by Saltinbocca, another classic dish served here at Palatino really well cooked, salty and seasoned to satisfaction. @bmcboy only had one dish, and the one we tried that does not follow tradition, being Chicken and chili meatballs with creamy polenta, yet this was not disappointing at all and delivered earthy, wintry flavours.
My artichoke dish was also really good, if anything I’d have liked more outer leaves stripped off the vegetable as they were a little tough, yet the olive oil that dressed the dish was aromatic and powerful and the chilli flakes in the broccoli well balanced. Another good dish.
Our time was sadly up since it had taken us ages to get there (thanks, Boris Johnson for screwing up London), and I left longing to try the desserts, particularly Tiramisu’ which I have been craving for during pregnancy unable to enjoy it.
We shall be back soon, another winner from Stevie Parle, Palatino is well worth a visit.