Like many of the world’s major cities, you either ‘get’ London or you don’t. It’s a city where opportunities and choice are endless, but life is fast and hard. Culturally, it’s also amongst the most diverse in the world; I have friends from places that I didn’t even know existed, like Lincoln (you know who you are Dirty Perry!). Yes, I love London, but every so often I just feel as if it misses a touch of warmth and love for its people. At risk of prompting a revolutionary movement, now more than ever, everyone just needs to smile a little more and share a bit of love. My recent visit to Bar Trattoria Semplice couldn’t have been more perfectly timed.
Bar Trattoria Semplice promises back-to-basics classical Italian cuisine and reasonable pricing in an informal environment. The décor is a bit clinical and lacks Italian charm, but the staff are incredibly welcoming and friendly in a way I haven’t experienced in London for a long time; I practically felt like inviting the manager to join us for dinner!
The menu features a fixed a la carte choice as well a monthly-changing regional Italian menu. Our wonderfully fresh salami board with a glass of Prosecco was a lovely appetizer to the main event. I started with Potato gnocchi with meltingly delicious strips of duck & Savoy cabbage ragù – an incredible marriage of cosy flavours. Ms Pancake’s Casonsei ravioli was also tasty, although a little stodgy. For mains my Milanese ossobuco (a veal caserole) was hearty and delicious, with the veal just falling away from the bone, whilst the Lasagne was rich and meaty, although lacking in any real seasoning. Desserts were charmingly brought out on a trolley and included a moorish ricotta and pine nut cake.
The wine list is exclusively Italian and features plenty of choice for under £5 as well offering a large choice of wines in 500ml carafes. In particular, I have to recommend the Aglianico Red; smooth and light, but with enough complexity to keep it interesting.
In terms of pricing, I’m not convinced that it achieves the true value that it aims to provide. However, the dining experience was enjoyable and it is somewhere I would happily revisit.
Cuisine type – Italian
Dinner for 2 (ex. drinks) – £55
Wine – £4.50
Bar Trattoria Semplice
22 Woodstock St