James Clark visits Officina 00 in Old Street to settle into a delightful lunch that whisked him back to Italy despite the London weather.
Word spread like wild fire across the London foodie scene that Officina 00, the restaurant and pasta workshop on Old Street was about to celebrate summer with a new terrace and appertivo menu, in partnership with ITALICUS Rosolio do Bergamotto.
The director Enzo Mirto said, “We’re so looking forward to bringing a little of La Dolce Vita to the streets of London with ITALICUS. Old Street is famously busy and bustling – we want people to sit, slow down, savour and stay a while on our beautiful new terrace. We can’t get to Italy just yet so thought why not bring a taste of Italy here.”
Unfortunately for me there was no pulling up an outside seat for lunch as the weather was anything but summer like but lets face it, I couldn’t hold the Officina 00 team responsible for that.
The restaurant may be a relative new comer on the Shoreditch food scene – opening in September 2019, but that’s not the impression I got when entering the venue. The casual dining area was filled with locals, romantic couples and businessmen enjoying a long working lunch. It was clear by the way that staff were interacting with patrons that they’d been here before.
Pasta is taken extremely seriously here, so I spent sometime watching two members of staff working at the pasta station as I enjoyed my first beer of the day, a Peroni Premium and gazed at the menu, while chatting with staff. Officina 00 has a real friendly vibe.
Officina 00 Menu
I took the waitress’ advice after she checked out whether or not I had any food allergies, and decided to try a little bit of as much as possible. I feel it’s only fair to point out now that I didn’t make it as far as desert.
The occhi, braised pork genovese with parsley pesto was perfectly tender and slid down my throat like a dream, the pumpkin gnocchi with brown butter, sage and gorgonzola was rich and incredibly tasty, the fried ravioli was flavoursome and the cavatelli with almond pesto, padron peppers and coppa was divine. If you haven’t tried almond pesto before then get yourself booked in.
At this point I started too feel like the waistline on my trousers was a little tighter, but as I considered myself to be in Italy for the afternoon I ordered more. I lived and worked in Prato just outside Florence in my late 20s so long and vast lunches were nothing new to me.
I settled on the squid ink and cuttlefish tagliolini. Now I’m a fan of squid ink, having had it on just about every tapas available in the old town in Bilbao several years ago. It was good, but I was beat and left a little behind.
The ideal place for lunch or dinner by yourself or in company. The entire crew are exceptionally knowledgeable about pasta and wine. You’ll be making new friends before you know it. I’m looking forward to going back.
If James has whetted your Italian appetitie, see what he thought of Tavolino Bar & Kitchen, Tower Bridge.
Officina 00 London
152 Old Street, London EC1V 9BW
T: 0208 0377161