|A bargain board of cured meats and cheeses for £12|
The restaurant we found, the strangely named 500 Restaurant, is the sort of place any Londoner would love to have around the corner from them. The name comes from the car the Fiat 500 and the restaurant is a tiny little Italian joint, but the fare is more sophisticated than typical red sauce places. There are no twee checked tablecloths or dripping candles at 500 Restaurant, the look is modern and unadorned with rough brick walls and bare wooden tables.
|The amazing veal ragu|
Chef Mario Magli knows what he is doing having worked with Antonio Carluccio, Gennaro Contaldo and Jamie Oliver over the years before leaving to set up this intimate and unpretentious Italian restaurant. The menu lists all the Italian classic dishes from prosciutto with peaches to gnocchi. We started with one of the specials, a board of cured meats and cheeses (£12). The selection was supposed to serve two but was more than enough for four of us with heaped slices of mortadella, pancetta and wedges of cheese. It even came with its own platter of bread, which like the pasta is all made on site by Magli.
|Desserts were a bit of a let down|
Slow cooked veal ragu (£10.20) was a text book pasta dish with rich, tender meat and perfect toothsome pasta. It was Italian slow cooking at its best.
|You have to love a restaurant where the goblet on the right is what you get when you order a “large” glass of wine|
Desserts were not as strong, the tiramisu (£3.90) was overly boozy while the poached pears with cinnamon ice-cream (£4.90) could have done with being served warm. Still, as a local restaurant 500 Restaurant does a good job of honestly cooked, simple food at ungrasping prices. As a sign of the generosity of spirit here if you order wine by the glass and you will literally get a half bottle in one large glass. Yet another example of London making it hard for me to leave.
Details: 500 Restaurant, 782 Holloway Road N19 3JH (Ph 020 7272 3406) Tube: Archway