LOTI EATS | NORMA
Not content with overseeing the food at The Stafford London, Culinary Director Ben Tish (previously of Salt Yard) has been in charge of the launch of the hotel’s first independent restaurant, which is called Norma. Now open in Fitzrovia, Norma is all about Sicily, drawing influence from the island’s cafe culture, old-school Italian hospitality and Moorish flavours.
Taking over a converted townhouse Norma is split across three floors; the ground and first floors are home to the restaurant and cocktail bar with a private dining space up top. We were sat on the ground floor and we’d say this is the place to be as it has the best atmosphere.
The crudo bar is a good place to start, especially the Sicilian red prawns, and the sea bass and the wild sea bream with pomegranate. There’s a couple of great snacks you should definitely order too, including deep fried spaghetti fritters and the beech-smoked anchovies.
The two pasta dishes were probably our favourite dishes of the night and they’re pretty reasonable at £9 – you could very happily come in here just for a plate of pasta and a wine. We loved the earthy green ravioli stuffed with sheep cheese and topped with pistachio pesto; the fresh strozzapreti with a pork and anchovy ragu was also excellent.
You’ll want to just share one main after the pasta courses, and the roast hake with pumpkin and nduja was a solid dish for a cold winter night. Get the side of fried potatoes with pecorino and truffle too – seriously addictive spuds right there. For dessert there’s a big brioche stuffed with ice cream and salted caramel that left us very happy.
Naturally the drinks list leans heavily on Sicily too with Marsala wines and cocktails made with chinotto, vermouth and limoncello.
Norma is a solid restaurant with plenty to like, so if you’re in the market for a casual spot to have dinner around Fitzrovia, it’s well worth checking out.
8 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2LS