The last time I was at 2 More London Riverside my dad finished off his meal with a shot of limoncello. You know those viral videos where babies eat a slice of lemon for the first time? It was like that, but with a 50-something-year-old bald man that looks like Phil Mitchell. Five years on, a lot has changed, well, for the venue at least - my dad still looks like an Eastender. The restaurant that introduced limoncello to my dad is no more (RIP Strada) but from its ashes came Tavolino. It took over the more-than advantageous location in July 2020, making way for the ex-Head Chef of Bancone to churn out Italian dishes with swoon-worthy views of Tower Bridge.
Seated on the top floor of the restaurant with prime views of London’s most iconic landmark at our disposal, it took a little bit longer than we hoped for service. Compensation came in the way of staring at Tower Bridge (and my boyfriend), with extra time to dissect the menu. Ordering about 20 minutes in, we asked for two spritzes from the aperitivo menu. Suffering slightly from the day’s lingering heat, we chose two Mediterranean Tonics at £9 for a boozy revival. Huge goblets were filled with bobbing chunks of ice, Gin Mare, orange jam, orange bitters and Mediterranean tonic.
Starters were more of a success story as we kicked things off with two dishes from the antipasti section. First up: the burrata, caponata and basil oil at £10.50. A large and shiny fist-sized pulp of cheese came accompanied with a side of caponata; a colourful Sicilian dish made with aubergine and fried vegetables (think chunky celery and ripe baby tomatoes). The generous pool of basil oil on the side added a pop of colour to the plate and it brought a sharp flavour into play that cut through the heaviness of the hand-stretched cheese. The Devon crab with buffalo ricotta, endive and pistachio dressing £10.50 was the lighter option of the two, and the preferred favourite of the table given that we’re both massive fans of seafood. Fresh, meaty white crab came presented in an impressive boat made of fresh lettuce.
Naturally unable to decide between pizza and pasta, we ordered the Calabrese £13 and the Sicilian red prawn bucatini with pistachio £16.50, sharing both, equally. The sourdough pizza was a sizable number with a perfectly puffed crust, topped with spicy nduja, splodges of burrata, black olives and razor-thin sliced green chilies. Each slice coming in just as spicy as the last, the pasta dish was the opposite with rich and aromatic notes slurped up with each mouthful of al dente pasta. We skipped the mousse and panna cotta for liquid dessert in the form of two espresso martinis made with Borghetti coffee liqueur, espresso, vodka £9.
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If you’re looking for dinner with a view (minus the price tag), Tavolino is the one. A selection of starters and mains on the menu come in at less than £10 and having lived in this city for over 8 years, let me assure you that you won’t find another deal quite like it. There were no limoncello shots taken at 2 More London Riverside this time around (we opted for espresso martinis because if I learnt anything five years ago it’s that shots should be left to the teenagers), but maybe that was a tradition best kept between Strada and my dad. Either way, next time you have family or friends visiting, you can't really go wrong with Tavolino.
Looking for more gorgeous places to eat and drink near Tower Bridge? Check out our guide here.