loti eats: ostuni

When we heard that Puglian restaurant Ostuni had knocked up some new dishes to help see us through to warmer weather, we dropped by their Highgate location (there’s also an Ostuni in Queen’s Park for all you NW London peeps) to check it out. They’ve definitely nailed it when it comes to the decor; with plenty of distressed wood, ceramics and rustic accessories, it’s pretty easy to pretend you’re in Southern Italy not North London. This extends to the kitchen as well, which dishes up simple, flavourful and authentic regional Italian cooking.

We kicked off with the new Antipasto Pugliese, which included a selection of breads, charcuterie, burrata with truffle, meatballs in an incredible tomato sauce (so good that we mopped the plate clean) and crispy grape hyacinth bulbs, something we’ve never seen on a menu before, let alone eaten. Turns out when served on ricotta tortino with a sweet and sticky vincotto reduction, bulbs are pretty bangin’. This was definitely the highlight and we could have happily gone for another round of the whole lot.

For mains, we couldn’t resist some of that traditional Puglian pasta with shellfish or the baked sea bass fillet topped with a courgette and potato crust, and a sgroppino – lemon sorbet with prosecco and vodka, so basically a boozy slushie – was a great way to round off the meal.

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Ostuni has also created a new daily changing and excellently priced lunch menu, which would be ideal after a morning spent on the heath, so you can swing by even if you’re not a local.

1 Hampstead Lane, London, N6 4RS