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Restaurants, Italian Shad Thames
4 out of 5 stars
 (Photograph: Jamie Orlando Smith)
Photograph: Jamie Orlando Smith
 (Photograph: Jamie Orlando Smith)
Photograph: Jamie Orlando Smith
 (Photograph: Jamie Orlando Smith)
Photograph: Jamie Orlando Smith
 (Photograph: Jamie Orlando Smith)
Photograph: Jamie Orlando Smith
 (Photograph: Jamie Orlando Smith)
Photograph: Jamie Orlando Smith
 (Photograph: Haydon Perrior)
Photograph: Haydon Perrior

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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A neighbourhood Italian in Tower Bridge.

‘Ah, Legare,’ I sighed to myself before visiting. ‘Yet another spot claiming to be a neighbourhood restaurant in a city where most people don’t even speak to their neighbours.’ Legare, though, has succeeded in uniting Tower Bridge’s throng of chattering workers: on a late Tuesday evening, it was busy and bubbling.

There’s a refined menu: simple dishes made from high-quality ingredients. On the antipasti front, the stracciatella (like the gooey insides of a burrata) with roasted radicchio and mellow hazelnuts was sheer class. Oozing into the surrounding slick of olive oil, the creamy cheese was balanced by the sharpness of the soft chicory, all fragranced with sprigs of thyme. Next, the cuttlefish with white beans and devil’s mortar (a spicy, spreadable British sausage, similar to ’nduja) was a bowl of chilli-infused comfort. Verging on a stew, tender fish chunks were interspersed between hot blobs of the sausage and cooling pulses.

Anyway, on to the main event: the handmade pasta.The pappardelle was meaty, carb-laden goodness. Its broad, al dente ribbons wrapped around the rich ragù of fennel sausage and cavolo nero. Also great: the veggie orecchiette. For pud, the cannoli were bliss: crisp pastry, pumped with ricotta and studded with pistachios.

There was the odd pitfall. The chocolate torte was overdone, and the pasta here isn’t as pristine as at nearby Padella (but, where is?). And the setting is too stark: white walls and tiny exam-style tables gave me flashbacks to my university finals. Still, the minimalism neither dents the atmosphere nor the cracking, hearty food.

By: Ella Braidwood



Address: Cardamom Building, 31G Shad Times
Transport: Tube: London Bridge
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £100.
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