Restaurant review: Pasta Remoli, Clifton Terrace

Pasta Remoli

Pasta Remoli - Credit: Archant

Pasta Remoli offers a fresh new take on fast food and an authentic Italian experience, says Sophie Inge

Tucked away behind Finsbury Park station, wedged between two burger joints, an Italian café is offering a fresh take on fast food.

Pasta Remoli bills itself as “a unique concept”, serving “traditional homemade pasta and sauce, in a quick and much more accessible way” – yet it promises diners that they will have “an authentic experience.”

For less than £10, you can mix and match your favourite pasta, sauce and Italian cheese. Not too sure what goes with what? Italian staff are on hand to nudge you in the right direction.

The ingredients – all sourced from Italy – include buffalo mozzarella from Naples, cherry tomatoes from Fondi and olive oil from Sicily.

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Although the café’s owner, Simone Remoli, is Roman, his menu is drawn from several regions of Italy. Currently, his best-sellers include Oxtail Agnolotti and Truffle and Mushroom Ravioli. For less experimental diners, there are also plenty of familiar Italian classics.

On Sundays, the restaurant – which opened this summer – has just started laying on an ‘Aperipasta’ evening: basically a buffet of Italian antipasti, a bowl of pasta, an alcoholic or soft drink, followed by dessert – all for just £12.

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What would their first Aperipasta be like? Having lived in Rome myself for a year, where people are very choosy about their food, I was impressed to find the restaurant packed with Italian expats, chattering excitedly as they sampled the various salamis and cheeses laid out on the tables.

One homesick Roman told me that he had to come because of the Mortadella salami, which he claimed was impossible to find elsewhere in London.

In fact, around 60 per cent of the café’s clientele is Italian, according to Mr Remoli, who started the restaurant with his wife, Francesca Tarquini, and cousin, Stefano Amfussi.

Like many Italians, Mr Remoli, who has been a chef for 15 years, took inspiration from his grandmother, who used to start cooking at four each morning and was renowned for her chicken stock.

No doubt she also taught him to serve generous portions. By the end of the evening, I could barely move.

The most popular main courses were pasta with butter and sage, and pasta in a spicy Arrabbiata sauce. To wash it all down, the Italian staff suggest a refreshing Aperol Spritz, a traditional Italian drink consisting of Prosecco, soda and orange-flavoured Aperol. But the highlight of the meal was undoubtedly the dessert: delicious Tiramisu, Pannacotta and Triple Chocolate Mousse served in small cups.

Would I come again? Definitely: it’s excellent value for money and a good place for a relaxed date – or simply for meeting Italians.

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