Small Plates and Crab Pasta: Have We Found A Hidden Italian Gem in London?

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Last updated . By Ed Christmas.

I am far (far) too proud of being able to differentiate between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Grigio, therefore, I naturally set my sights on Enoteca Rabezzana. Aiming to be the definition of “Little Italy”, Enoteca Rabezzana (just shy of the Barbican) promises all things Italian in a space decked wall to wall in wine bottles; i’d come to the right place.

It’s hard not to notice the personable feel to this restaurant. While relatively small, the managers make you feel as though your arrival were an invitation into their home. Add to that the cured meat hung up on the wall behind the bar and the numerous bottles of wine on the ceiling, and you’ve got the warm and welcoming hug of a trattoria with the freshness of a summer in Southern Italy.

italian restaurants in london

The interiors at Enoteca Rabezzana feel fresh and familiar.

Small(ish) plates dominate the menu at Enoteca Rabezzana, making it easy to fall down the rabbit hole. Luckily, the staff geared me towards the spaghetti di calamaro, nero di speppia, datterini confit e Salicornia (£12) - roughly translated to squid ink spaghetti, with tomatoes and samphire. While the fierce taste of fish was something I hadn’t experienced since my time eating octopus on San Francisco’s Pier 39, it was brilliantly paired with a Cannonau Di Sardegna (£43 for the bottle). The full bodied red also helped me tuck into the 40-month cured Parma Ham (£14) on the specials menu. Another recommendation from the staff that was silken, rich, and likely some of the best ham i’d ever had in my life.

After a backwards and forwards in my head that almost matched May’s indecisive Brexit deal, I also set my sights on the tagliolino, al granchio e datterini (£17), a pasta dish topped white Devon crab and datterino tomato. While I went against my innate belief that seafood should always go down with a white, I opted for a red in the shape of the Coccinella Syrah. An organic Sicilian wine, the clean cut flavour was perfect with the fresh crab.

enoteca rabezzana italian restaurant review london

This boar ragu comes topped with a cheese crumble.

The DesignMyNight Digest

Enoteca Rabezzana prides itself on its knowledge and authenticity and delivers both to the nth degree. Any question you could ask the staff about their 120 wines and food menu? Sure, you’d expect them to know the answer, but they’ll give you the facts and then some, without so much a flinch or pause. I wholeheartedly feel that Enoteca Rabezzana is more than worthy of its place on the Italian wine and restaurant scene, I just wish I could keep it all to myself.