In the maze of cobbled streets near Spitalfields Market, a new Tuscan ‘villa’ serving a simple, fuss-free menu of steak and pasta, competently realised.
Just south of Spitalfields Market is a cobbled maze of streets that look as though they might have sheltered Jack the Ripper. Its an atmospheric place with a couple of decent pubs, thronged with summer drinkers on our evening visit, but, never a restaurant destination of great note. So the news that La Tagliata – a ‘Tuscan villa’ with an intriguing small menu – was coming to Sandy’s Row aroused curiosity.
The interior – all neutral shades, polished wood and beautiful crystalware – makes no effort to reflect its ‘heritage’ setting, nor indeed any idealised visions of Tuscan villas, so far as I could see. There is a variety of dining areas – would I like to sit in the library, drawing room, study, dining room, pantry, music room or wine cellar. Is this a life-size game of Cluedo? Where is Professor Plum when you need him?
Always very much at home surrounded by bottles of wine, and because, oddly, it has a view, I plumped for a table in the wine cellar.
The menu is strikingly simple, just three pasta starters and a choice of steak or vegetarian oven-baked scamorza for mains. La Tagliata is not for those who enjoy perusing a menu.
My friend opts for the pasta limone (lemon, egg and parmesan) while I have the pasta pesto. Both dishes come well cooked with the tagliatelle al dente, and are not too large or filling, with a scattering of Parmesan on top that might be a little dainty for some tastes.
My steak looks beautiful, medium-rare as requested and served sliced on a bed of rocket, Parmesan (lots this time), tomatoes and balsamic. The ends of the strip steak are slightly dry though and make tough work. And a little more seasoning might not have gone amiss.
Tiramisu for dessert doesn’t really put a foot wrong. It’s got proper Mascarpone, a liberal dusting of cocoa and a good hit of coffee.