photo credit: Trullo

Trullo image




$$$$Perfect For:Business MealsCasual Weeknight DinnerCatching Up With MatesDate NightDinner with the ParentsLunch
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Real adults have lots of responsibilities. They have appointments and calls. Sleep deprivation and intrusive thoughts about leaving the gas on. Real adults aren’t meant to have all the time in the world. Unless, of course, they’re at Trullo.

Trullo is the older sibling to Padella. There are no queues here. No counters either. God, no. This is an Italian restaurant for grown-ups who have bedtimes, just seconds away from the cesspit that is Highbury Corner. Couples clink negronis at midday, beef shin ragu is methodically eaten by candlelight at night, and a feeling of Do Not Disturb is adopted upstairs and down. This is a restaurant where busy people find time.

Trullo image

photo credit: Trullo

Trullo image

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Walk past Trullo any day of the week and you’ll likely peer in and think “Wow, that looks lovely”. And that’s because it is, and that’s why you’re going to have to book. The upstairs dining room, entirely monochrome until it’s briefly lit by red and blue lights of sirens outside, is gorgeous. The downstairs, a moody bunker where bottles of chianti should be drunk and sunk, is a place for elongated dinners and meaningful looks from inside secretive booths. Families come here to celebrate life, death, and the slab of tiramisu in front of them. Bella Freud sweaters dot the room with glasses of sangiovese in hand. Even the shaggy dogs that laze across the floor at lunchtime look like they know their way around an affogato. 

There are loads of Italian restaurants in London, but Trullo is one of the very best. The food is simple and decidedly unshowy. Most things change but pay particular attention to the salad in the antipasti. Be it rocket, blood orange and salted ricotta, or something with watermelon and nuts—they’re elegant and will sadly remind your bank account that expensive EVOO is worthwhile. 

Trullo image

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Unlike its sibling, pasta isn’t the star of the show at Trullo. Although the pici cacio e pepe is a non-negotiable if on the menu. It’s the stuff from the grill that really stands out. A whole mackerel with lentils and salsa rossa, or still-mooing t-bone with crispy polenta. None of this food is particularly complicated or ingredient-heavy, but it is all cooked impeccably. And if you’re partial to a drink, the wine list is a very welcome rabbit hole.

One of the best things about Trullo is the look that everyone adopts after a few sips, or a couple of bites. It’s the same look of contentment that your parents would have on holiday, drink in hand, sun setting. A look and feeling that everyone ends up growing into. Bottle it up and take a swig yourself, because that’s what Trullo is all about.

Food Rundown

Broad Beans With Ricotta, Rocket, And Mint

The kind of thing you should be eating from a Tuscan hill rather than Highbury and Islington but, beggars can’t be choosers.
Trullo image

Pappardelle With Beef Shin Ragu

If you’re in the area and feel even vaguely peckish, this is what you order. These people know their pasta.
Trullo image

photo credit: Karoline Wiercigroch

Chargrilled Quail With Aioli

This bird is smoky, meaty, and crusty. Plus you get to smear it in pungent garlic sauce. What’s not to like?

Mozzarella With Artichokes, Polenta, And Spinach

A fine vegetarian option even if the component parts are a little underwhelming when eating on its own.
Trullo image

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Lamb Rump

This is delicious, hefty, and also very refined.

Vanilla Panna Cotta With Grappa

The panna cotta is delicious but the grappa can be a little overwhelming. A classic cook’s pour.
Trullo image

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Amalfi Lemon Tart

A real lip-smacker which is exactly what a lemon tart should be.

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Suggested Reading

The 13 Best Italian Restaurants In London Right Now image

The 13 Best Italian Restaurants In London Right Now

Where to eat antipasti and pappardelle that will make you weep with joy.

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Highbury is more than a stadium, a station, or a corner. It’s a thriving residential neighbourhood and home to some great places to eat.

A corner of Bouchon Racine with three two-person tables, a chalkboard menu on the walk, and gold-framed pictures hanging on the wall.

The best London restaurants when love is in the air.

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