Wine & Food

    All the spaghetti (iStock)

    The best restaurants for pasta in London

    15 February 2018

    Passo, Old Street

    This new kid on the block is not messing around. Opened in November, Passo is Italian food done with just enough cool to make it worthy of its prime East London address. It’s open all-day, with a deli take-away bar, housed in a vast open-plan space of contemporary design, appropriate for the new home of the former head chef of Shoreditch House, Massimiliano Iaquinoto. Alongside chef Joe Hill, Iaquinoto is serving up an innovative and absurdly tasty menu. Highlights include the truffle tagliatelle, the orecchiette with octopus ragout, olives and lemon thyme and the burrata, tomato and langoustine ravioli.

    Villa di Geggiano, Chiswick

    Want to feel like you have stumbled into a Tuscan villa in west London? Then get yourself to Villa di Geggiano, sister restaurant of its Tuscan namesake, which has the architecture and atmosphere to match its culinary offerings. This is a luxurious pasta destination, with a sleek lounge, a stunning terrace and a true air of romance. Take a loved one there for a special treat, if only to snaffle up the superior chestnut tagliatelle or ox tail tortelli washed down with the restaurant’s signature chianti.

    Padella, London Bridge

    It’s one of the most raved-about pasta restaurants in London; a reputation aided by the no reservations policy that frequently sends a huge queue of people stretching back into Borough Market. Opened in 2016, it is the second venture of the pasta kings behind north London’s Trullo; Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda. Yet you should believe the hype, because these boys know their gnocci from their cavati. Their pici cacio and pepe is mouth-watering (and award-winning), the beef pappardelle is to die for and the best part is, you can easily dine for under a tenner. Simple, fresh, handmade pasta at its best; plus you really can’t go wrong with a place that asks you to specify if you don’t want parmesan.

    Bernardis, Marylebone

    In the heart of central London, Bernardis is a failsafe restaurant. Bring your mother, bring a date, bring a raucous group of friends (there’s a great bar); it suits anyone who loves great Italian food made with flair in a classic, relaxed atmosphere. The menu, by brilliant head chef Sabrina Gidda, is seasonal, imaginative and bold, with a particularly great nod to the veggies out there. Menue highlights include pappardelle with ox cheek ragu, casarecce with fennel sausage and ricotta gnudi with slow-cooked leek, pecorino and sage. You’ll come back again and again.

    Da Marios, Kensington

    Da Marios feels like one of London’s hidden secrets. This unassuming, traditional Italian trattoria was established by the late Mario himself, the man credited with opening the first pizzeria in London, which would go on to become Pizza Express. But a pizza chain this is not. Da Marios, now run by his son Marco, is a standalone restaurant, serving old school pasta done to truly delicious perfection. Eat the spaghetti vongole as the locals and visiting celebs (it was Princess Diana’s favourite) greet Marco like an old friend, or tuck into the Rigatoni Da Mario as Italians pour in and chastise him for not visiting them in Naples last summer.