FARRINGDON is a strange part of the city. It neighbours Moorgate and Barbican which both turn into ghost towns after work hours, minus the stragglers who insist on after-work drinks. Farringdon on the other hand has a bit more activity in the bar and restaurant department, making it a prime spot for somewhere like Enoteca Rabezzana.
The time is 6:30pm, and the city is deep into post-work drinks. I walk into Enoteca Rabezzana and notice a handful of guests dotted around the restaurant drinking wine and nibbling on cheese boards. It’s a very enticing visual for someone who’s passing by.
One of the 140 wines on offer
The decor is fairly casual but the wall of mounted wine is enough to catch the attention of any thirsty passer much like myself. Taking a seat with my guest, I browse the food menu with the idea of cheese lingering in my mind. Sometimes these decisions take a while but my within one minute I knew what I wanted for starters, mains and dessert.
The waiter, who doubled up as a sommelier, arrived ready to take our order when to his surprise I announced my grand food plans for the evening. Having started with such confidence, I opted to leave wine choices in his hands. There’s something exhilarating about not making my own wine decisions, and I felt this was the right place with its 140 wines on offer.
With cheese on my mind I ordered the burrata as a starter because does anything prove itself more Italian than a gooey spilling centre of creamy cheese? Passing with flying colours, I swiped up the last bits of balsamic and burrata onto some bread followed by victory sip of the crisp white 2014 Tenuta Rapitala Grand Cru Chardonnay from Sicily.
A carbonara dish at Enoteca Rabezzana
I watched as my guest worked through his carbonara starter which glistened with a fresh egg coating topped with crispy pink pancetta. I thought carbonara was an oddly rich dish to start with before reminding myself that I’d just eaten a ball of cream to myself.
The menu is broken into sections, each dotted with staples Italian dishes and not a sight of a pizza menu. My eyes were drawn to the pasta section which prompted me to order the Cacio e Pepe e Tartufo Nero. It stood out like a knight in shining armour like my pasta hero. Our server smiled as I put in my order and we both exchange a silent glance about the wine. Creamy, buttery peppery strands that take me back to my holiday to Rome where the dish first made its way into my heart. Sharp and powerful Pecorino filled me with joy and I was glad to have ordered this dish as it was the best Cacio e Pepe I’ve had outside of Italy. As for the wine, it’s another white, but this time it’s from the coastal area of Maremma Toscana. It’s fruity but simple which means it’s easy to drink and uncomplicated.
The 300g steak served with marrow, potatoes cabbage
Opposite me, a glass of red wine from Rosso di Montalcino sits next to a 300 gram rump steak. It’s quite an image. My guest devoured the meat along with the marrow filled bone almost ignoring the wine. Visually, the steak easily steals the show with its flamboyant bone and charming roast potatoes however, nothing matches up to the perfection of the Cacio e Pepe which came with fresh black truffle. I’m definitely coming back to eat this again.
As for the something sweet part of the evening, I kindly decline. It’s straight to the cheeseboard for me and I know that this is the right place to enjoy it. My guest spoons something chocolatey into his mouth while I nibble on Pecorino. The beautiful dessert wine from Veneto in the North unites us on our last course but I feel like the real winner.
Drinking wine is easy in Enoteca Rabezzana as it excels as both as a bar and restaurant. To enjoy the both together is effortless and undeniably easy if you’re a fan at all of Italy.
by Katrina Mirpuri