You’ll find plenty of excellent eateries around Smithfield market and this Italian wine bar and restaurant is no exception. With a history of wine-making stretching back over 100 years, Rabezanna Vini are Italian wine producers from the Piedmont region in Italy. Their wine list, consisting of more than 150 Italian wines and all served by knowledgeable sommeliers, sits proudly alongside an authentic and sophisticated menu, created by talented Executive Chef, Federico Casali.
Based around regional dishes – from small plate tapas to more hearty, traditional fare (including, of course, pasta!) – the menu uses ingredients sourced from small Italian independent farms and artisanal producers, as well as top UK suppliers. We put our meal entirely in the hands of our friendly Italian waiter, who expertly paired each dish with complimentary wines. A glass of well-balanced medium dry Venturini Baldini sparkling wine settled us in for a gastronomic feast.
We started with a special of the day; battered baccala (salt cod) with punterelle (Italian chicory) and anchovy dressing, accompanied by a glass of fruity Fondatori GP’ Albana Secco 2016, Merlotta. Delicate, crispy and perfectly-cooked fish, served on a bed of slightly crunchy punterelle – officially my new favourite vegetable. This dish came alongside Egg 63 (an egg slow-cooked to 63 degrees) and served with Parmiagiano fondue and fresh truffle. My partner opted for Tonnarelli (spaghetti) with lime butter, red mullet and pistachio pesto – a fresh, moreish twist on classic spaghetti pesto!
The organic Barbera d’Alba Superiore 2015, Massimo Rivetti was paired to perfection with another daily special; Squid fake spaghetti – a delicious and carefully crafted spaghetti made from squid with enough texture to soak up the accompanying ingredients. A velvet-smooth Barolo Prunotto 2013 went down very well with the rich and succulent Braised ox cheeks with black cabbage and chestnuts.
We were sitting, our bellies happy, thinking how spoilt we’d been, when a Panna cotta served with a red wine reduction and grape chutney arrived. It was everything you want from a dessert – sweet, delicate, palate cleansing and a bit naughty, accompanied perfectly by a glass of sweet and smooth Passito delle Venezie 2016. Our meal had been a taste of real Italy; a celebration of fresh ingredients cooked in exquisite simplicity.
Start to work your way through Enoteca’s dishes with their set lunch menu; starter, main and glass of wine for only £20.
62-63 Long Lane, London EC1A 9EJ
020 76 000 266