From a Southern Italian restaurant and wine bar, there are certain things that you want. Spice, for one. Pasta, for another. And lashings of olive oil all round. So far, Stevie Parle’s Rotorino, found on the Kingsland Road in Dalston, delivers. But you can’t pin the menu down here; it gets tinkered with and tweaked as the seasons change, as is only right. There might be a summery watermelon salad with salted ricotta, chilli, tomato and mint one day or, a few months later, a warming Sardinian fish stew.
But whatever the weather, the menu at Rotorino keeps things simple. Divided up into First, Second, and Third, diners can then choose according to their hunger. To start, they can opt for a cured, fried, or raw dish; bresaola with lemon, black pepper and olive oil, courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta, lemon and nutmeg, or the classic buffalo mozzarella with tomato, basil and balsamic. Then there are pasta dishes, right up to the heartier plates from the stove and the wood grill. If you’re in the mood for something from the latter, the hanger steak here will not disappoint.
The wine list, meanwhile, has been put together by Ruth Spivey and is sure to excite oenophiles with its Italy-heavy offerings. But should a glass or bottle of wine not to be on the cards, imbibers will also find cocktails, beer, grappa and amaro on the drinks list. All that’s left to do is settle in and enjoy the ambience. The space, after all, has a moody gleam to it, lit by scattered drop lights, with plenty of cappuccino-coloured leather in the seats and booths. And a mix of bold geometric patterns and exposed brick on the walls.