Run by a largely female team (chef included), La Collina is refreshingly free of foodie attitude, almost deceptively so. The charm of the staff, the glass frontage on a residential street and the simple wooden floors and pale paint suggest casual café – but it’s much better than that. From a kitchen that opens on to the lower of two dining rooms and its pretty terrace, the short menu perfectly exemplifies the Italian ideals of simplicity and seasonality. The quality of ingredients shines: buffalo mozzarella-stuffed flowers on new-born courgettes; sweet, sun-warmed cherry tomatoes in a rocket salad; jewel-bright vegetables served with exquisite burrata; tasty, textured beef. Chef Diana Rinaldo hails from the Veneto but draws most influence from Piedmont (in dishes such as vitello tonnato, or wild mushroom and truffle pasta) and Sardinia (fish and seafood dishes and malloreddus, a characteristic pasta shape). The home-made breads represent both, which is the kind of detail that sets this place apart. Other standouts from our visit were a sumptuous lobster spaghetti, claws and all, a bolognese sauce made with beef and veal, and a semi-freddo enlivened with chocolate and honey drizzle. The wine list is all-Italian too.
|Venue name:||La Collina||Contact:|
17 Princess Road
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 6-11pm Mon-Fri. Meals served noon-11pm Sat, Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Camden Town or Chalk Farm tube|
|Price:||Main courses £12-£20|
|Do you own this business?|