This Marylebone spot is as close to a proper Italian trattoria as you’re likely to find in London. Effusive waiting staff greeted us like long-lost relatives as they ushered us past the deli and café-bar area to the airy, informal dining area of this former pub. A wide-ranging selection of small plates, first-class salumi, cheeses, pastas, grills and other mains drawn from all over Italy made ordering fiendishly difficult. We tried to sample some of everything, and soon our table looked pleasingly crowded and varied, as a proper Italian meal should. Some dishes are downright peculiar, some disappointing – a plate of meatballs with peas looked like little mounds smothered in a bright green smoothie, and our cannoli was too thick and unwieldy. But gnocchi with pork cheeks, red onion and peas was spot-on, and a sausage served with polenta flew us straight back to Italy, the fennel singing out from the sausage’s dense porky flavours. This is rustic Italian cuisine at its most honest and inviting – the real deal in a crowded, often disappointing market.