HAVING already experienced great success within the French capital, the Franco-Italian restaurant Daroco has just opened a new location based in the heart of London. Upon entering the restaurant, guests are greeted with a warm, contemporary trattoria environment.
The three founders of Daroco – Alexandre Giesbert, Julien Ross and Nico de Soto – have finely tuned their menu to provide guests with the highest quality ingredients. All the pasta, pizza, bread and other confectionery are entirely home-made – a true testimony to the dedication and care of the iconic trio. Now, we’re here to give you an exclusive rundown on the new dining spot.
After navigating through lines of the dimly lit, intimate tables, we were presented with Daroco’s expansive menu. Featuring an impressive selection of dishes such as marango crudo, guancia di manzo brasato, paccheri all’ astice and oven-baked pizzas, choosing our courses proved to be an immediate dilemma.
Interior of Daroco Soho
Opting for tomato and olive focaccia bread, prosciutto served with pickle seasonal vegetables and calamari scottati for our starters, it’s clear that we were spoilt for choice. The calamari scottati – seared squid served alongside olives and taralli, capers and gremolata – was an immediate hit.
The saltiness of the capers perfectly offsets the zesty aftertaste provided by the gremolata to create a holistically harmonious dish. Paired with the prosciutto and selection of vegetables, our starters were very well enjoyed.
Following our starters, we perused the menu once again to choose our main courses. Deciding upon two pasta dishes – the mezze maniche ‘nduja and the pappardelle al venison Genovese – we were excited to try some of Daroco’s infamous staples, and we were not disappointed.
The warmth of the nduja, basil and tomato makes for an delicate marrying of flavours – ideal for anyone searching for a dish with a spicy kick. Meanwhile, the pappardelle al venison Genovese – venison Geneve style ragu – showcased the wealth of expertise called upon by the head chef, Daniele De Luca.
Pasta at Daroco Soho
After having indulged in some savoury delights, it was then time for dessert. With a curated list of options including classics like tiramisù, custard cream tart, cannolo aperto and chocolate mousse, it’s evident that Daroco has it all.
The drinks were equally impressive. With the staff recommending the best cocktails to try, while also providing relevant detailed background information, we were easily tempted into trying various beverages.
After deliberating for some time, we chose to have a Negroni, an Aperol spritz and a punch. The spritz was particularly intriguing. Infusing the classic cocktail with a hint of kiwi, Daroco has subverted Italy’s favourite cocktail.
The generosity continued as the evening went on. Having finished our meal at the main restaurant, we were led downstairs to a subterranean bar – the Wacky Wombat. Helmed by the renowned French mixologist, Nico de Soto, the bar boasts even more unique cocktails. Choosing to try a Rødgrød Med Fløde and an Overland Track, we were enthralled by the myriad flavours within each drink.
The Rødgrød Med Fløde acted as the perfect conclusion to the evening with its hints of rhubarb, lingonberry, lemon and other various spices. The bar felt akin to a speakeasy – hidden away underneath the main restaurant and sitting a maximum of 50 people, it’s the ideal denouement.
Overall, Daroco Soho’s delicious food, alluring interior design and fantastic service are certain to attract a crowd of eager revellers in search of a unique dining experience. Whether you’re looking for some top-notch Italian cuisine or chatting with some friends over some drinks, you should give Daroco a spin.
by Sophie Richardson