When this neighbourhood trattoria first swung open its doors early in 2012, they were going through one gigantic parmesan wheel a month for their cacio e pepe – that classic Roman pasta dish of spaghetti tossed with olive oil, pecorino cheese and pepper. “Now,” says heavily tattooed and well quiffed co-owner Marcelo Garrao, “we go through one a week.” It’s a dish that really exemplifies the eating at this tiny little Italian restaurant-bar: simple, delicious and pretty much invented to go with booze (in ancient Rome the dish was made with the cheapest, sharpest cheese and served in bars to keep customers thirsty). It’s big trade at Buffalo, day in, day out and you can’t book for anything smaller than a table for ten. On a Wednesday evening, we arrive to find it’s an hour’s wait, and we get off lightly – such is the love for the place, the wait can be as long as three hours. For us it’s a good excuse to head around the corner for a round of Highballs at Eau de Vie. Back at Buffalo Dining in the dark room (a blackboard displaying the day’s specials is about as artistic as it gets) it’s all systems go: we’re faced with a flurry of golf ball-sized potato croquettes and roast mushrooms and soft ribbons of 22-month-old San Danielle prosciutto. It’s all about drinking and snacking here. Kick back with an inky, spicy bottle of Cannonau and some organic goat’s cheese – all musky, young and sweet. Or just cut straight to that cacio e pepe, served at the table from a hollowed-out wheel of cheese. Or there are puffy little nubs of buffalo ricotta gnocchi napped in tomato sugo. If you don’t order the tiramisu – the light, spongy, creamy coffee dessert famous at co-owner Michael Fantuz’s communal restaurant Table for 20 – you’re a damn fool. All this, by the way, is happening with the Black Keys and Lanie Lane playing in the background. Buffalo Dining Club is fast, it’s furious, it’s swinging, jumping and jiving. And that’s just how we like it.