Today I am going to retract my former assertion that there are no nice restaurants in Tufnell Park.
On Monday night we went to the Sardinian restaurant Trattoria Nuraghe and it was actually very good. The restaurant sits in a particularly uninspiring row of shops at the bottom of Dartmouth Park Hill and from the outside doesn’t really have much to recommend it. Because of its insalubrious location and because it looks like an uninteresting cafe from the outside, I have never paid any attention to it and in fact I don’t think I even knew it was there.
To his credit, my boyfriend had suggested going here a couple of times as he’d heard good things about it but I was unconvinced. I judged it on appearances and turned my nose up at it. But we have made a commitment to eat out in places we can reach on foot and after Googling for restaurants in Tufnell Park I was astounded at the excellent reviews this place was getting and thought perhaps we should give it a whirl.
The interior is nothing amazing and being picky (as I am), I think the walls should be painted in a stronger hue and the cheap Ikea-ish tables and chairs should be replaced with something a little more ‘lived in’ but it has a really nice trattoria feel and I very much like the selection of woven dishes on the wall. The service is excellent, really personal and friendly and even on a first visit you’re made to feel a like a local.
The food was very good, and so was the chianti. After reading this blog post I already knew I wanted the parma ham and melted fontina plate for my starter and was really disappointed that it had run out. Because every single person in the restaurant had ordered it. So I guess it must be pretty good then. My boyfriend had the chorizo which was the best I’ve ever tasted, all burnt and full of paprika and not at all greasy as chorizo usually is. For main we both had the pasta with minced pork and fennel which is very similar to the one served at Zucca although not quite as delicate and about eight times the quantity. The portion size here is insane and it is a restaurant where you happily take your leftovers home in a tupperware.
Our two course meal with wine was £66 including service which is not bad value considering it provided my lunch and my boyfriend’s dinner last night too.
Happily I think I have found one of those local places that is perfect for when you want to eat out but can’t be bothered to get on the tube and for me this was a lesson in not judging a restaurant by its outside appearance and in the unwavering usefulness of restaurant review blogs.
Trattoria Nuraghe, 12 Dartmouth Park Hill, London NW5 1HL 020 7263 456