Types of venues , Restaurants and cafés , Restaurants
© Stephen Barber
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Thu Jul 12 2012
Now that Londoners are – to a man and woman – sophisticated, worldly food lovers, we can get away with opening a restaurant with the word ‘lard’ in it. For lardo, as everyone knows, is the cured back fat of rare-breed pigs, a white slab of grease scented with herbs and highly prized by the Italians. No lardo was on the menu of this new Hackney pizzeria and all-day eatery when I visited, though; no pizza was on the menu either, as of 7.15pm. Luckily, we got there at seven, and snagged two out of our chosen three pizzas before they all were crossed off the menu.
Lardo opened in July in the Arthaus studio/gallery/apartment complex just off Mare Street, and on a Sunday evening was busy. So busy, clearly, that the kitchen had run out of the most basic ingredient – the pizza base. But those supplied to us were very good, and the huge, domed, mirrored pizza oven is quite spectacular.
The kitchen’s other speciality is cured meats, all of which are processed in-house. So toppings include the likes of star anise salami, or juniper-scented speck ham with spinach, mozzarella and Belper Knolle, a pungent Swiss cheese.
Alternatives come in the form of small plates, some so small it makes sharing between more than two people tricky. But ingredient quality was exceptional. The scallop carpaccio with samphire and vivid olive oil; broad beans and pecorino with mint and lemon; and arancini (breadcrumbed and fried risotto balls) were all excellent.
The small all-European wine list presents an interesting range of styles – a Loire rosé, a grüner veltliner, a Picpoul de Pinet – as well as two proseccos by the glass.
It sounds like the perfect neighbourhood restaurant (when the neighbourhood is this upmarket part of Hackney, that is). Hugely dedicated and talented chefs in the kitchen, an informal bar which is open all day for simple cocktails and snacks, and fuss-free, stripped-back design.
Our experience was marred slightly by a distractingly surly waitress, however, although all other staff (including a chef who came out to serve food and drinks himself) were warmly enthusiastic. We will be able to recommend Lardo wholeheartedly once everyone shares their cheer – and the kitchen can cope with what is clearly an already high demand.
020 8985 2683
- Opening hours:
Open 11am-10.30pm Mon-Fri; 10am-10.30pm Sat; 10am-9pm Sun. Brunch served 10am-3pm Sat, Sun. Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat; 6-9pm Sun
Tube: Hackney Central or London Fields rail
Main courses £7.50-£14
- 020 8985 2683
Restaurant and bar facilities. Take away. Reservations required. Accessible facilities. General facilities. Available for hire. Outdoor facilities. Tables outdoors
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