Wolf, Stoke Newington
Wolf is the latest addition to N16's slowly increasing dining scene, and what an addition it is. The brainchild of two utterly charming Italians, Wolf is selling itself as a seasonal 'grown up' Italian with a menu of antipasti, primi and secondi done exceedingly well.
First things first though, you're going to need a cocktail. The bar is beautiful and exactly the kind you want to sit at and work your way through the really very good cocktail list. I opted for their take on the classic Aperol Spritz, which they'd made better via some blood orange. Delicious.
Not your thing? Perhaps some homemade pineapple tequila? Or some spiced pumpkin vodka? They are all over the home infusing.
Onto the food. We went for an antipasti each to share - the burrata (obviously) which came with some kind of roasted pumpkin and a quince 'vincotto', which google tells me is a kind of agrodolce balsamic vinegar. FYI agrodolce is when something is both sweet and sour - not in the Chinese takeaway way though! Anyway, yum:
There were many tempting things on the menu, but the other one we really couldn't resist was the 'nduja spiked meatballs. REALLY good.
The chef, Mattia Antonioni is ex Ivy and was head chef at Polpo, so you don't need me to tell you he knows what he's doing, and the produce is clearly painstakingly sourced. Excitement levels were high for the pasta course. And oh! We weren't disappointed. This is the wild boar porcini ragu and you definitely need to eat it:
The ragu was super rich and meltingly soft, as it should be. I've almost never had such perfect silky pasta. My friend said the same about the lobster spaghetti. I tried it; she was right. I've already written about London's best pasta restaurants, but I 100% need to get this added on.
Washed down with a bottle of excellent Pecorino (yep like the cheese) white wine it was empty plates all round.
To be honest, we were pretty fat and full up by now but such is Antony (the owner, I think)'s charm he pressed a plate of softly blushing pork fillet with chanterelles upon us and we did not protest much. Also some tremendous truffled smashed potatoes. I like a chef who is happy to serve his pork pink.
By this point we were happy never to leave. The small matter of a new bottle of wine - this time a juicy Montepulciano - may also have had something to do with it.
So, dessert. I'm not a mad pudding person but I have a soft spot for affogato. We went for Amaretto over our ice cream instead of coffee and if that is wrong, I have no interest at all in being right. No pics because things were blurry all round by now.
Have a look at the decor instead, it's lovely.
It is surely testament to the place's friendliness that a small neighbourhood restaurant was actually pretty buzzing on a Monday night. Go; add to it.
** I visisted Wolf on a complimentary basis but my gosh I will be going back again and again and again.