Apulia Cafe (CLOSED)
Time Out says
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A Puglian restaurant and café on Camden Road.
Please note, Apulia Café has now closed. Time Out Food editors, April 2018
Apulia’s the kind of authentic little café you’d find down an Italian side street and never stop banging on about. Except it’s on Camden Road, so you can go today and spare your friends the smug holiday snaps.
Set in one teeny room decorated with artisanal-looking wines and pastas, Apulia is a brunch and panini spot by day, but by night they do that magical, mythical thing of going off-menu. “What do you like?” said the handsome maître d. I mumbled something about cheese, and the next thing I knew there was a bespoke cheese and charcuterie platter in front of me, complete with candied ginger and a bowl of friarielli, a green leafy vegetable that’s a little like broccoli’s sexy, Mediterranean cousin.
Almost every ingredient in this restaurant is sourced direct from Puglia (that’s Apulia in Italian), a region in southern Italy famous for its food. You can tell. Along with smoky scamorza and salami, the best thing on this platter is caciocavallo, a beautiful whipped cow’s cheese that’s strong to the point of spiciness. This was served with lovely warm focaccia and the kind of balsamic vinegar that makes you understand why people pay good money for balsamic vinegar – rich, sweet and apparently aged for 12 years (12 years?!), Apulia gave it to us for free. Now that’s Italian hospitality for you.
The next surprise to wing its way out of the kitchen was burnt wheat cicatelli – a short, delicately curled homemade pasta that came with spinach, juicy red peppers and al dente asparagus. All of this was washed down with wonderful wine, Apulia’s house red.
Eating here is like having that Italian holiday, in your mouth. But for one tenth of the price, and within walking distance of the Northern line. Paradise.