Situated very close to Highbury and Islington overground station is Trullo, a rustic, understated, yet very welcoming Italian restaurant.
Trullo has a reputation for its friendly staff, and indeed, the people who waited on us were absolutely lovely, helpfully giving tips whilst making sure we were fully stocked with regards to water. After completing one of our dishes (the pasta one), I asked to keep the plate on the table to polish off the sauce using bread, which they seemed perfectly cool with. I dig that; at a poncier place such plebbish behaviour might have earnt me and eye roll from the waiters.
For starter, we shared the mozzarella dish, pictured below:
I’m not exaggerating when I say it was one of the finest mozzarellas I’ve ever had! The one I had in Andrew Edmunds would certainly run it close, but the drizzle of oil to bring out the flavour of the one in Trullo means it has the edge. Though there wasn’t much in the way of baby tomatoes, they had been prepared expertly and complemented the creamy cheese a treat.
The pasta was served in primi portions, which suited me perfectly as I wanted to sample some of the meats without overloading on carbs. The usage of chilli oil in this dish was on point.
For our meat dishes, we had quail with baked cannellini beans, anchovy and rosemary dressing from the grill, and beef short rib with runner beans, red peppers and crème fraiche from the oven. Most of this was perfection, minus the runner beans in the beef dish, but that is an ingredient that is difficult to get right. I would have proposed a tad more seasoning in order to improve it.
However, I will forgive this slight oversight, as the texture of the beef was absolutely mouth-watering. It was satisfyingly succulent, and the short ribs, which were baby cow soft, was the stuff of dreams. I always thought my favourite way to eat beef was in the form of a steak, but I will be revisiting that opinion having tasted the beef short rib here.
Thus, in total, we had four dishes to share between us at Trullo, which I would say is just enough for two people. I prefer this; you get to sample more variety, at smaller portions. When the quality of the cooking is that good, you want to try it all!
The wine list was a bit expensive, so we had a carafe of one of the recommended reds rather than a whole bottle.
Overall, dinner for two with wine came to about £100, which is a little dear, meaning I sadly couldn’t make a habit out of going somewhere like this. If you’ve worked hard and feel you deserve a treat, however, I would fervently recommend it. Trullo demonstrates the pinnacle of Italian dining.
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