Reviewed by Cora Leslie
Nestled at the top of St Paul's Road near Highbury Corner, it would be easy to miss Trullo. The exterior is plain and the small A5 menu put up inside the window is not eye catching. Once you enter though, there is a warm atmosphere and the babble of congenial chatter raises expectations.
We were warmly greeted by our waitress and shown to our table for two, booked for a Tuesday lunchtime. The clientele seemed fairly well mixed between business lunches, couples and small groups of friends and the environment was welcoming.
Whilst browsing the menu, we were presented with some fresh bread and olive oil for dipping. The small portion of oil was not adequate and a simple thing like increasing it or adding balsamic vinegar would be a nice touch. We decided on a bottle of house red to share and this was served alongside a carafe of sparkling water, which we really appreciated.
After a short discussion with the knowledgeable waitress I opted for the Ricotta ravioli with braised radicchio (£8.50) as my starter and my husband decided to try the Pappardelle with beef shin ragu (£9). Neither of us were disappointed! The ravioli was exquisite and the beef in the ragu was to die for. The portion size was reasonable but we enjoyed these dishes so much we could have easily eaten more!
For our mains we opted for the blackened pork served with potatoes and anchovies and the lamb rump served on a bed of green lentils. I must admit to being surprised that the lamb appeared just with lentils as I had expected some accompanying vegetables, however a glance at the menu revealed that potatoes or salad could have been added for and extra £4. As both dishes were priced at £16/£17 I did feel that it was rather annoying that these basics came as a priced extra rather than included in the meal.
My husband thoroughly enjoyed his pork dish but I was slightly disappointed with mine. The lamb steak was tasty but almost 50% fat and the lentils soon became boring.
Rhubarb and almond tart and Vanilla pannacotta with grappa were our desert choices. The tart was very nice if a little dry but the pannacotta was a real hit. It was a shame it looked so lonely on its serving plate though! It was a large portion and a small fruit dressing would really have enhanced not only its appearance but added to the taste experience.
Trullo does a lunch time offer of a main course primi with a starter or dessert £12 and this is properly the best option for a lunch time visit.
The menu changes daily although there do seem to be some regulars that appear daily.
They do have a downstairs dining area that would be suitable for groups/families but this needs to be booked well in advance. In general, tables need to be booked at least 2 weeks in advance.
Overall the food was mainly good but quite pricey and not particularly good value for money. Trullo would be a nice place to go for a special occasion but if meeting for lunch the lunch time offer is a must!
For more information or to book a table visit www.trullorestaurant.com