Time Out says
A restaurant from Stevie Parle focussing on the food of Rome.
Like an Italian suit, Palatino is minimalist and modish, with a distinctly masculine edge. But, on my Saturday night visit, eight weeks after opening – as in, there should really be no excuses – it was frustrating. Frustrating because this is a restaurant from Stevie Parle (Dock Kitchen, Rotorino etc), whose team should know better. Know better than to oversalt the dishes, or serve ‘secondi’ well over an hour after ‘primi’, say.
Because when the ‘Roman-inspired’ food shines, it dazzles. The pasta, in particular, was a delight. A simple dish of little-seen tonnarelli (‘guitar spaghetti’) was served with one of my all-time favourite sauces: cacio e pepe. As in, cheese (a nicely sharp pecorino) and pepper. It allowed the beautifully al dente pasta to sing. Then came rigatoni – the short, fat tubes – topped with veal ‘pajata’, a classic from the capital city. What’s that? Oh yes, intestine. The taste and texture is a little like kidney, set against a mellow, celery-studded sauce.
Later (much, much later), a slab of crackling-edged pork appeared, followed by smoky onglet steak, cut into butch, ruby-middled chunks. Both beautifully cooked but painfully oversalted. As was the swiss chard salad, with its bitter leaves and glistening pomegranate seeds. Please, for chrissakes, lay off the salt.
Palatino has potential: a knockout dish of tangy cherries, artful streaks of sweet whipped cream and a chocolate sphere with a bitter, semi-freddo centre, was further proof of that. But it needs to sharpen up its game, and pronto.
71 Central Street
|Transport:||Tube: Old St|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £100.|
|Do you own this business?|
Unlimited Prosecco: £14pp
Enjoy unlimited Prosecco at Palatino on Saturday lunchtimes for £14 per person. T&Cs for groups: £10 deposit for all groups 8+. All deposits are non-refundable. If cancelled within 48 hours full set menu price will be charged. The restaurant will contact the diner directly to obtain the deposit, the restaurant has the right to cancel any reservation where the deposit has not been received. Terms and Conditions: Maximum of 12 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service. Valid For: 1 - 12 People Sat 12:00PM-3:00PMOffer valid until Apr 30 2020
Pre-Theatre, 2 Courses for £16, 3 courses for £20
Enjoy Stevie Parle’s pre-show Presto menus ahead of a visit to The Barbican, Sadler’s Wells or The Almeida theatre. T&Cs for groups: £10 deposit for all groups 8+. All deposits are non-refundable. If cancelled within 48 hours full set menu price will be charged. The restaurant will contact the diner directly to obtain the deposit, the restaurant has the right to cancel any reservation where the deposit has not been received. Terms and Conditions: Maximum of 8 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service. Valid For: 1 - 8 People Mon-Sat 12:00PM-3:00PM 5:30PM-7:00PMOffer valid until Apr 30 2020
Bottomless Pasta: £25
Enjoy unlimited plates of pasta at Palatino for £25 per person. T&Cs for groups: £10 deposit for all groups 8+. All deposits are non-refundable. If cancelled within 48 hours full set menu price will be charged. The restaurant will contact the diner directly to obtain the deposit, the restaurant has the right to cancel any reservation where the deposit has not been received. Terms and Conditions: Maximum of 6 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service. Valid For: 1 - 6 People Sat 12:00PM-3:00PMOffer valid until Apr 30 2020
3 courses for £20
3 choices per course and includes vegetarian options. Terms and Conditions: Maximum of 20 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service. Valid For: 1 - 20 People Mon-Thu 12:00PM-2:30PM 5:30PM-9:30PM,Fri-Sat 12:00PM-2:30PM 5:30PM-7:00PM 9:00PM-9:45PMOffer valid until Jan 31 2020
Users say (6)
Average User Rating
3.8 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:3
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Fantastic italian food, with a different take on the classics. The Nettle Agnolotti is a must as is the deliciously crispy Fried Gnocchi. The service was impeccable and the red wine list as is good as the food. Reasonably priced if you share dishes
I wanted to love Palatino. I live in the neighborhood, and was excited about the prospect of a great local restaurant to frequent, which the neighborhood desperately needs.
The meal started well, the server was helpful and friendly. We started with 3 aperitivi, the best of which was the Anchovy, stracciatella, toast, absolutely delicious. The fried courgette flowers were overly fried and bready, the asparagus was ok, but not worth £10. Of the two mains, the Romana courgette pacceri was delicious, as was the Vignarola (vegetable stew), very light and fresh. We also received a wonderful wine recommendation, the Pinot Grigio, Orsogna, Abruzzo, 2014. Delightful.
Unfortunately, things then took a turn for the worst. We ordered dessert, then waited at least 15 minutes until it arrived. We tried to order an after dinner cocktail when we were served the dessert, but were only then told that we had just 10 minutes left for the table! We had no idea there was a time limit, and to give us 10 minutes to scarf down dessert we were just served and pay the bill is quite pushy.
We offered to move to the bar, but were told there were no free spots. After a few minutes we were told there were now spots open at the bar, but instead were moved to this weird large table "near" the bar, directly across from a half-eaten plate of pasta, empty beer bottle, and stack of dirty cups, that the staff had obviously forgotten about.
The staff then proceeded to forget about us. No water, no bill, nothing. Out of sight, out of mind. We finally managed to beg the bill from a passing waiter who gave us a flustered "it's not my problem" look, and surprise, there was a service charge already included in the total. Sorry, being sat next to a stack of dirty dishes for 40 minutes does not merit a service charge and we had to ask them to remove it. They then came back with the revised bill, but still we sat there, again, next to the dirty dishes, waiting to pay it.
At this point we probably should have walked out, they seemed so disinterested in collecting our money. After finally having to go to the bar to pay the bill we were free to leave (no easy task it seems).
I feel this is a generous 3 stars because the first 75% was great, and I would like to return and give it another chance, but management really needs to sort the service and generally how they treat customers. Rule #1, don't serve dessert with a 10 minute countdown, we should have been given more notice and dessert should have been served in a more timely fashion, and rule #2, don't seat customers next to a stack of dirty dishes. Watching cold pasta congeal on a plate is not pleasant.
Oh, and when we left the restaurant there were at least 2 empty tables, so unclear why they were in such a rush to get rid of us.
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