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Rosetta

Restaurants, Italian Covent Garden
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
 (Pietro Recchia)
1/4
Pietro Recchia
2/4
3/4
4/4

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A slightly bonkers but eminently likeable Italian restaurant serving cheap eats in the centre of town.

There’s a charming eccentricity to this new deli-cum-café on King William IV Street. Its slightly baffling tagline is ‘Italian agri-cultural food’, which seems to roughly translate as food from a number of farms across Italy – including Rosetta’s own Azienda Agricola Pizzavacca, near Cremona. The upshot? A great new central spot showcasing Italian produce of exceptional quality.

First impressions probably won’t draw you in. The decor is apparently aimed at recreating the contemporary rustic aesthetic of the farm back home. Which in this case means bare plywood (you can still see the chippy’s pencil marks) and a strip of AstroTurf. TV screens with the sound muted tell the farm-to-fork story, and oddly empty herb pots lining the walls make it feel very much like a work-in-progress.

But who cares when the food is this good? A platter of parmesan, grana padano, pecorino, taleggio, Parma ham, prosciutto and salami was eyebrow-raisingly impressive – the meats particularly so. Best of all, though, were the sandwiches, made with the north Italian rosetta bread that gives this place its name. We enjoyed the nutty flavours from a Roberto (baked ham with artichoke cream) and the sweetness of the Giovanni (porchetta with onions and cream), but it was the Giuseppe that topped the lot: so simple, just superb anchovies and sweet, unsalted butter. They made perfect pals for the astonishingly good bread. The platters cost £15, and the sandwiches between £4.60 and £6.10. They are not huge, but are truly a marvel.  

The only downer came from salads bonkers enough to be amusing. A Cagliari had flavoursome pumpkin purée and more of that pecorino cheese, but both were lost in a harvest’s worth of thickly sliced carrots. A Roma salad (lettuce, rocket, pecorino and apple) was fine but, like the Cagliari, cried out for some kind of dressing. Instead, it had to make do with yet more sliced carrots. A lovely, home-style jam tart to finish brought things back to normality.

There’s no getting past the fact that this place is more than a little idiosyncratic. It’s also, however, very likeable. When it comes to high-quality Italian produce, they sure know where to go. Add to that a low-priced list of interesting wines and you’re looking at one of the outstanding budget eating places around Trafalgar Square. 

Details

Address: 38 William IV Street
London
WC2N 4DD
Transport: Tube: Charing Cross
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £20.
Contact:
Do you own this business?

Users say (5)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|5
1 person listening
1 of 1 found helpful

I stumbled upon this place by chance and I was impressed by it. Small and modern organic sandwich shop in the center of London. You can take out or eat in. I asked for a panini called Marco made of prosciutto Di Parma and mozzarella with their exclusive Rosetta bread and a glass of Chianti. Well, I had to have a second serving, this time a 'Giovanni' with pork and onions cream (and another glass of Chianti, I'm afraid). Diet concerns apart, great quality, huge flavor and standard prices with great service. I am coming back.

tastemaker

Real Italian Aperitivo, in a location that couldn’t be more central than it is, just on the side of Trafalgar Square! The outer look of this tiny contemporarily decorated café won’t drag you in, as it’s not particularly appealing. Although, on a Thursday late afternoon, a further better glance and you will spot many trays on the counter, full of marvellous genuine Italian food: cheese, charcuterie, olives and different types of focaccia and frittata! At the fair price of £8 you get a proper Aperol Spritz and all the complimentary nibbles you can eat, like in the best Italian tradition of Aperitivo! The staff are very friendly and they work hard to satisfy and please the customer as much as they can! Try it as it’s absolutely worth!!

moderator

I stumbled upon this place by chance and I was impressed by it. Small and modern organic sandwich shop in the center of London. You can take out or eat in. I asked for a panini called Marco made of prosciutto Di Parma and mozzarella with their exclusive Rosetta bread and a glass of Chianti. Well, I had to have a second serving, this time a 'Giovanni' with pork and onions cream (and another glass of Chianti, I'm afraid). Diet concerns apart, great quality, huge flavor and standard prices with great service. I am coming back.


Visited this place after seeing the Time Out review and loved it. Really great charcuterie, lovely people and a gorgeous rosetta sandwich with salami. The prices are really good too. Definitely recommended. 

Staff Writer

Probably the best panini I've ever eaten. Anyone around Covent Garden needs to check this place out, the food is incredible and the portions & filling is so much better than you'll find in a Pret or Eat. A new favourite, highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!

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