Restaurants, Italian Hackney
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© Stephen Barber

If a restaurant is named after the cured back fat of a pig, you can expect that charcuterie is among its specialities – and so it is here. But lardo itself isn’t on the menu at Lardo, except as a pizza topping, so our charming, clued-up waiter bought a plate specially. It was excellent, as was the paper-thin fennel pollen salame. Other small plates on the short menu are divided into ‘cold’ (simple but satisfying puréed cannellini beans with black olives), ‘warm’ (an unctuous bowl of braised chicory and melted fonduta cheese topped with speck) and ‘hearty’ (Venetian lamb’s kidneys). There’s also a couple of own-made pasta dishes and a handful of pizzas with novel, tasty toppings such as goat’s curd, anchovy and sprouting broccoli. You can watch the pizzas being fired if you choose to sit on the stools around the open kitchen; otherwise there are closely packed but not cramped tables. Industrial-style windows, plenty of wood, and lighting that’s so low most people need to use the tealights to read the menu, make for a stylishly casual setting. Lardo is part of the Arthaus complex, so it’s a trek across a blinding white foyer to find the shared toilets. Drinks run from cocktails to builders’ tea plus a brief, mainly Italian wine list. Hackneyites love this place – rightly so – and cram in from breakfast to late, so it’s wise to book.



Venue name: Lardo
Address: 197 Richmond Road
E8 3NJ
Opening hours: Meals served 11am-10.30pm Mon-Fri; 1-10.30pm Sat; 1-9.30pm Sun. Brunch served 11am-1pm Sat, Sun
Transport: Hackney Central or London Fields rail
Price: Main courses £7.50-£16
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