Summer Menu Tasting at La Tagliata Spitalfields
It’s always fun to be invited along to tasting events. And, since I visited La Tagliata when it first opened a couple of years ago and really loved their simple but perfectly presented offering, I was very keen to go back and find out more. The idea was to taste and pick our favourite dish for the summer menu, while trying some of the starters and desserts on offer.
For those who haven’t yet discovered La Tagliata, it’s an Italian restaurant on the edge of Spitalfields and just a few minutes from Liverpool Street station. The main offer is a Tagliata – either meat or tuna, grilled Italian style with a dressing of olive oil and herbs. But, they have evolved a lot since I last visited and there are plenty more menu options
We started, in true Italian style, with bread and oil, all baked in house, before moving on to Il tagliere di Salumi, a platter of Italian charcuterie (Salame Gentile, Spianata Romana, Bresaola, Prosciutto San Daniele), focaccia with lard, parmesan and marinated artichokes. It’s a meal in itself if I am honest, and I’d have been perfectly happy to stop there. But there was more.
La Caprese di Bufala was a beautiful plate of the freshest Buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, avocado and basil oil.
Le Melanzane alla Parmigiana was pure Italian comfort food, layers of deep fried aubergine with tomato sauce, Parmesan, mozzarella and fresh basil.
While bruschetta came laden with caponata Siciliana, buffalo mozzarella with basil pesto, sweet peppers, tomatoes and lardo.
I should have remembered that Italian Antipasti is generally a meal in its own right. And I shouldn’t have eaten quite so much.
As it was, it was only curiousity that led me to eat when the next dishes, the ones we’d been invited to trial, came along.
First, an amazing dish of home made Gnocchi with a blend of fresh asparagus, roasted pistachio, Gorgonzola piccante, and fresh cream. ‘Gnocchi con asparagi, gorgonzola e pistacchi’
I loved the contrast between the sweet crunchy pistachio, the fresh, slightly bitter asparagus and the soft gnocchi. Add a touch of rich gorgonzola and fresh cream for a perfect summer dish.
The tagliatelle with Sicilian pesto was the sort of dish I could imagine eating in Sicily, though generally their pasta is made without egg. Here, homemade egg pasta with fresh tomatoes, pine nuts, almonds, fresh ricotta, dry ricotta, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil came together to make Tagliatelle al Pesto Siciliano.
We, as arbiters of taste, had to pick one of the two dishes and unanimously voted for the gnocchi. I have only one misgiving, that when asparagus is not in season, this dish may not be so wonderful. But I am sure the people at La Tagliata will cope!
On to desserts. We were offered a whole selection – tiramisu made with layers of Savoiardi biscuits soaked in espresso coffee and mascarpone cream and dusted with chocolate, three different versions of Panna cotta – with salted caramel, strawberry or raspberry (my favourite)
and a stunning warm chocolate cake ‘Il Tortino’ with a fondant filling and a garnish of strawberry coated with pistachio crumb.
I liked La Tagliata a lot when I was given the opportunity to review a couple of years ago and I love seeing the progress they’ve made. Definitely somewhere to go back to – high-quality dishes presented and prepared beautifully.