The minimalist and notably angular exterior of LARDO has caught both eye and appetite during various jollies over to London Fields. Sitting comfortably between Hackney's Mare Street and London Fields, this East London eatery has aroused much interest since its grand opening in 2012; it was about time to take a look.
Occupying a third of the iconic Arthaus building, it's immediately obvious that this place is cool. Step into a warehouse space, showcasing exposed pipework, industrial style windows and an open kitchen that boasts its very own signature 'Disco Ball Oven' - we're talkin' a rounded, igloo-esque centerpiece, decorated for fun-time effect with mirrors.
When you manage to peel your eyes away from this charmingly reflective dome, it's time to find your seats. Tables are tightly packed, adorned with tea-lights (serving the double purpose of creating an atmosphere and providing enough light to actually read the menu - but we're not complaining). This East London restaurant bar is very cool.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
LARDO is large, but it boasts more atmosphere than you can shake an Italian breadstick at. A haven for lovers of low lighting, high ceilings and all things open-plan, LARDO manages to remain both warm and welcoming, without any compromise on cool. The waiting staff are relentlessly friendly, funny and helpful, always on hand to patiently translate Italian dishes into lay-man lingo. It's trendy location means that it always manages to pull in a good lookin' and well dressed crowd of Hackney hip cats, but welcomes all with a smile.
The Food and Drinks
To begin, we opted for a mixed charcuterie platter, offering an impressive selection of meaty goodness that certainly whet the palate and aroused our appetites. Their speciality charcuterie is nothing to be sniffed at, made from Mangalitza pigs that have been raised in Somerset, and later salted, smoked and cured at Native Breeds in Gloucestershire. Our sharing board showcased the likes of their fennel pollen salami, lardi loin, speck and mortadella - all pretty damn delicious.
The main course consisted of a perfectly cooked Black Anise Pepperoni pizza, served on a tomato base and topped with homemade pepperoni, black anise seasoning to give a subtle aniseed flavouring, and the obligatory round of creamy mozzerella. It was certainly a treat for the taste buds, particularly when accompanied by a crisp glass of LARDO's finest white wine.
LARDO is a welcome addition to the Hackney restaurant scene and is nothing short of impressive. Ticking every box, this East London eatery offers no compromise on quality, serving up a devilishly delicious menu of Italian inspired treats in a charming warehouse space.