Serving up authentic Italian dishes as far as the eye can see, writer Helen Wilcock enjoys a night of lip-smacking dishes at Enoteca Rabezzana in Barbican
Situated opposite Smithfield Market, Enoteca Rabezzana is the perfect local Italian wine bar and restaurant. Step inside, and you’ll be transported away from the hustle and bustle of London to the idyllic realms of Italy.
The seasonal menu features traditional dishes we all love, alongside more unusual Italian dishes you don’t normal experience unless sitting at a table within the country itself – each paired with a stunning wine to complement and enhance the flavours.
When first settling in, the restaurant was quite quiet – however, as the evening progressed, seats began to fill rapidly. It’s clearly a local hotspot – by 8pm the place was packed and those without reservations were being turned away, tail between their legs.
The Food & Drink
The offering is divided into charcuterie, small plates, pasta and fish & meat, encouraging guests to order a selection of dishes to share with one another.
When ordering our Dolce Vita dishes, our waitress recommended two different wines to complement the dishes – and as you can order by the glass at Enoteca Rabezzana, we wasted no time in getting stuck in.
Following the recommendations from our lovely waitress we began with Tagliere Misto di Salumi e Formaggi (cured meat and cheese board – £15), Guancette di baccala’, zabaione salato e spinaci (cod cheeks, salted zabaione and spinach – £10) and Gnudi al cavolo nero e tartufo fresco (gnudi, cavolo nero and black truffle – £12).
A slight issue arose when all three dishes were served at the same time and did not fit on our small two person table – it would have been great if they could have been staggered slightly.
Despite this minor flaw, we tucked in and the dishes were simply divine. The charcuterie board was the perfect size with a selection of three cured meats paired with three types of cheese – one word, heaven!
The cod cheeks were deliciously soft and salty, sitting on a bed of wilted spinach – this is a dish that I would happily have devoured over and over again.
Our Italian adventure in central London continued with Paccheri ragu di cinghiale e granella di parmigiano (Paccheri, wild boar ragu’ and parmigiano crumble – £16) and Guancette di manzo brasate, polenta e carciofi (braised ox cheeks with polenta and artichokes – £20).
Our appetite was certainly bigger than our stomachs at this point but the dishes looked so incredible we couldn’t resist. The ox cheeks were so soft that you could have eaten them with a spoon and the polenta added a great crisp texture to the whole dish.
The wild boar ragu with paccheri was packed with flavour and while delicious it was slightly too rich after the other dishes we had enjoyed.
The Wordrobe Verdict
For those who live in the Barbican or surrounding area, you are lucky enough to have a short walk to Enoteca Rabezzana.
Although it’s further away than central eateries, I would definitely recommend taking the time to travel to the restaurant. You’ll be rewarded with incredible Italian dishes and mouth-watering wine – a trade-off I’ll certainly be returning for.