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Enoteca Da Luca

Restaurants, Italian Old Street
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Pricey Italian restaurant on Old Street roundabout.

This fifth outpost of the Enoteca Da Luca chain feels worryingly close to an upscale spin on Italian restaurants like Ask or Prezzo – but with prices aimed squarely at the expense-account crowd. In Italy, an enoteca is a local wine shop, and while the wines were definitely the most consistently pleasing part of our visit, that homely name feels incongruous when applied to a new-build brick-and-glass development (optimistically named ‘The Bower’) round the back of Old Street roundabout. We were seated at the top of a personality-free three-floor space, which meant heading back down two staircases to the toilets, past walls covered in hackneyed photos of old Italian movie stars (which you can imagine hanging in multiple branches).

The service was perfunctory, and they didn’t appreciate our surprise when they announced that they’d run out of two key dishes on the trim menu. The food we did have was average-to-good, especially when weighed against the prices: wild boar pappardelle (£13) was okay but on the bland side; the onglet steak (£13.50) was a better call. Some of the smaller dishes were more memorable, including arancini with truffle and courgette and a strong selection of Italian cured meats. But the whole experience lacked personality – just like the cheap-tasting olives served with our aperitif of Aperol Spritz. At least that drink’s orange glow lent some much-needed colour to proceedings.


Address: 207 The Bower
Old Street
Transport: Tube: Old St
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £110.
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