Exmouth Market continues on its culinary evolution with the arrival of Paesan, a restaurant (and subterranean cocktail bar) that’s part of a growing number of Italian sharing-style restaurants in London. It’s ‘cucina povera’ solidly focuses on using excellence produce, in gutsy, vibrant combinations to a satisfying effect.
Half of the menu is dedicated to cured meat, cheese and vegetable antipasti, ‘piccolo’ sharing plates (which aren’t that piccolo) and lusciously adorned four-slice pizzas. These offerings alone can create a varied and tasty dinner for you and friends. The other half of the menu is completed with full-sized meat, fish and pasta dishes, for a more conventional meal if that’s what you’re after.
The burrata with the aubergine caponata is a great ‘piccolo’ dish. The perfect balance of a soft creamy, mozzarella texture and taste with the acidity of the melting, velvety aubergine – all zinged-up with some capers and fresh salad leaves. The mini butternut squash pizza, also delicious, has a light and fluffy base, with simple additions of rosemary and goats cheese that come together to form another well balanced plate. The bistecca tagliata (sliced steak) is the dish to go for if you’re looking for something serious and hearty. Great pink chucks of flesh with some Parmesan shavings and a hint of lemon really make the meat’s flavour stand-out.
Standing-out amongst the desserts is the crostada limone (lemon tart) which has an intense citrus kick, balanced-out by the fior di latte gelato – yes, that’s a gelato made from milk. But, not just any milk, a milk that has a real countryside grassy depth to it – a ‘must have’ if it’s on the menu when you visit.
And this is what sets Paesan apart from others restaurants that cook in the same style; the ingredients really speak for themselves. Teamed-up with tried and tested flavour combinations, you’ll find that everything you order is treated with care to deliver a simple, delicious experience. When you add that the friendly service and the lively (but not noisy) atmosphere, Paesan is the perfect spot to catch-up with your friends.