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all about our neighbourhood restaurants lately and last week we discovered a belter! Trullo Downstairs is located underneath the much loved Italian restaurant Trullo (the clue’s in the name!) at Highbury and Islington. Trullo Downstairs is similar in style to the main restaurant, the menu changes daily and is derived from the restaurant’s most popular dishes only served in small plates, tapas style. Fresh pasta, antipasta, marinated cuts of meat and fish and a selection of cheese are all on offer.

Inside is bang on trend with exposed brickwork, low lit booths, chalk boards and industrial style lighting. We tried a host of dishes, highlights included the Mozzarella with Swiss Chard which was a generous portion of high quality creamy, juicy cheese. Pumpkin Ravioli with sage butter was a rich buttery dish, the fresh pasta filled with soft pumpkin. Pork chop served on top of baked cannellini beans and salsa rossa was a slab of full flavoured pork and perhaps our favourite dish.

The only thing we weren’t sure of were the fried chickpea fritters which didn’t really taste of much. That said the desserts soon made up for things. The Chocolate and Quince tart could quite possibly be one of the best chocolate tarts we’ve eaten. Served at room temperature it almost felt warm and was rich and gooey. Carmel Pannacotta was another winner, smooth and perfectly formed.

For the boozers the restaurant also offers a selection of cocktails and Italian wines. Trullo Downstairs has everything you want from a neighbourhood restaurant – it’s cool, trendy, serves good grub and the staff are efficient and friendly. The perfect place to impress a date and what would you know, it’s nearly Valentine’s Day!

300 – 302 St Paul’s Road, N1