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Enoteca Rabezzana (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Enoteca Rabezzana in Barbican & Moorgate, London

: 62-63 Long Lane, Barbican & Moorgate, London, EC1A 9EJ
Cuisine: Italian
Tel: 020 7600 0266 | Transport: Barbican | Write review

Enoteca Rabezzana Review

Top 10 things to know about Enoteca Rabezzana:

1) You and all your Facebook friends work in central London, but live beyond the wall, scattered far and wide, in places most people have never heard of. This creates a problem when arranging to meet up. Like opposing magnets, you each suggest a venue that is closer to your onward journey than everyone else’s. This problem is solved when choosing this traditional Italian restaurant opposite Smithfields Market. It’s in the sweet spot between St Paul’s, Farringdon, Barbican and a wealth of easy route-home opportunities.

2) Problem number 2: too much choice on the menu, split between charcuterie, small plates, fish, meat, and pasta. Plus, they throw in a daily specials menu to confuse matters. This makes ordering complicated, until you meet Luca, the man at the helm of Enoteca Rabezzana and a genuine contender for the next World Cup of Loveliest Hosts. Not only does he welcome you with genuine warmth, but he will tell you exactly what you need to know to make the right decisions. Go with whatever he suggests. He’s far more knowledgeable than you!

3) The third problem is wine because this is one of the best wine restaurants in London, with more than 100 wines on offer. Plus, a quarter of those change monthly, meaning you’re unlikely to relive that moment of ecstasy during repeat visits. We suggest starting with a glass of effervescent bubbles, preferably Franciacorta rose, just to be on the safe side.

4) Then, aim a few strategic questions in Luca’s direction, and the wine “problem” will disappear. Get him started on the topic of underrated Italian wines and he will unearth liquid refreshments that will change the course of your life. The Villa Pinciana Airali - a ripe apple and citrus farmyard of a wine - is brimming with these super powers (it’s a must-do for fans of a Grüner Veltliner).

5) Now that you’re the master of your own universe and all the life challenges that come with such responsibility, ease back, chill out, and do some soaking. Comment to your dining companion about how you’re enjoying the incongruous anthems from Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys and Arcade Fire drifting around the bright, airy, basketball court restaurant space. They will counter with a suggestion: some dimmed lighting and a few well-placed candles would create a more romantic appeal, as the Moroccan tiling, wooden furniture and walled wine racks belie the potential rusticity.

6) When perusing the menu, focus most of your attention on the starters, constructing your own cicchetti (Italian tapas), if possible. This provides better value over the more expensive mains. The real treasures lie during the opening credits, not during the meal’s ending (which is far from fairytale).

7) As a base, choose the grilled octopus, borlotti beans and ‘nduja, supplying the perfect amount of warmth; plus the scallops on black squid ink and celeriac clouds, as they usher you towards the point of greed.

8) Luca’s BIG ragout talk may pique your interest in the mains as well, so if he convinces you to go down that route, lock in on the slow-cooked, Grandmother’s ragu - a melting lamb sirloin and beef tongue combo - with paccheri pasta. Then order it again for dessert (ignore the actual desserts, they’re terrible).

9) Failing that, or if you’re not in the mood to share, order the tonnarello pasta with red mullet, lime butter and pistachio pesto for its satisfyingly gritty, crunch texture and surprising zest sensation.

10) When choosing to meet at Enoteca Rabezzana in Farringdon, make a real day and night of it: capture the dinner conversation by recounting the historical deeds you learnt earlier in the day at the nearby Museum of London; after dinner, walk over to the Barbican for a spot of live culture; then, after the show, trot back to Fabric nightclub for a night of raving instead. If it’s good enough for the mums and nerds who seemingly frequent the restaurant after dark, it’s good enough for little old you. more

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Enoteca Rabezzana has yet to supply us with with a public email address. You can telephone them on 020 7600 0266 (please mention Fluid London when calling).

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