Smart Italian in Dalston
|Grilled Seabream, tomato, mint and almond|
When you talk about restaurants in Dalston, you would most likely think of no booking/ one item concept/ left field decor places. But Rotorino is a completely different beast to the usual "hipster" restaurants or casual restaurants in the area. Co -owned by Stevie Parle, it is a smart, modern looking place, dishing out Southern style Italian cooking. I had a really enjoyable meal at his other restaurant, Craft London just recently, so I had high hope in Rotorino. The food menu is fairly standard Italian affair, with first, second, mains and desserts to choose from, it also has a separate bar at the front, providing Italian style cocktails with modern flair.
The pizzetta fritta was somewhat of a joke for me, a very basic, tiny pizza bread and it costed £6. The sausage gnocchetti's texture was a touch too chewy and rather one dimensional, however the red wine and fennel did produce a very mouth watering aroma. The whole seabream was cooked to the perfect level, and it really showcased the essence of great Italian cooking with the rich, bold but fresh flavours from the tomato and mint dressing. The fish was moist and the nuttiness of the almond worked like a treat with the mild flavour of the olive oil. The tender Sasso chicken was another very solid dish, the classic combination of ricotta and porcini provided bags of powerful flavours and all the goodness was absorbed into the roasted over toast.
|Sasso chicken, ricotta and porcini on toast|
The cooking at Rotorino was impressive, I especially enjoyed the rich and powerful Italian flavours that it offered, but the price was far from ideal given its location and the portion sizes. It is hard to justify a few mouths full of pizza dough or a few slices of salad leaves should cost more than a fiver. You would need to be smart with your dishes choices while you order otherwise it would easily cost you close to the £50 mark per person, to keep the cost down, I would suggest to skip the first and go dive into the pasta dishes, followed by main course. To sum it up, Rotorino provide great Italian cooking in a smart setting with very high standard services, but it does comes at a price.
What I paid:
£45 per head with 2 cocktails
Average cost without drinks and services:
434 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AA