Cafe Murano Pastificio
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A casual sibling of slick Italian Café Murano.
Café Murano Pastificio is the much more casual, next-door neighbour offshoot of Café Murano, a slick Covent Garden Italian restaurant from celeb chef Angela Hartnett. ‘Pastificio’ literally means ‘pasta factory’ in Italian, so it makes sense that this café-deli, which is packed with shelves of imported Italian delicacies like tinned tomatoes and olives, has a front window stacked with trays of the fresh pasta made in house that same morning.
Given its quality, the pasta is fairly priced (around £9 a plate). Though you order and eat in the casual café space, it’s cooked by chefs in the high-end restaurant next door, so you get all the quality without any of the formalities of fine dining. A plate of spinach and ricotta tortelli (squares of silky pasta stuffed with fresh cheese) with fragrant sage was delicious, as was a mixed salad from the counter with fresh Italian flavours like peach, soft prosciutto, smoked almonds and salty anchovies. A mini cannoli with a crispy casing and a smooth, light pistachio filling provided a wonderful, sweet finish.
Sandwiches, snacks and cakes are all available from the counter, and the vibe in the café, when it’s not too busy, is lovely and homey. It’s a tiny space, with just a few tables and some seats by the window, so one downside was that as soon as there were more than a couple of people inside, it quickly felt cramped. But if you want a quick plate of pasta – especially at a less busy time of time – with a good glass of wine, Pastificio is the perfect place. The next time you’re in Covent Garden, you just try and walk past that window display without going inside – it's an almost impossible feat.
34 Tavistock St
|Transport:||Tube: Covent Garden|
|Price:||Lunch for two with drinks and service: around £50.|
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