Earlier this week I had dinner at L’Anima, on the Shoreditch edge of the City. It’s modern Italian, and high end. The dining room reflects this, with a sharp, sparse yet luxurious modern sort of look. It’s very designed.
For ordering, we put ourselves entirely in the hands of general manager Adriano Cacchione and sommelier Gianmarco Arcuri, who has created a very smart exclusively Italian list (with the exception of Champagne), taking in the classics but also with a good showing from lesser known regions.
The food, from chef Lello Favuzzi was spot on. Beautiful ingredients, creatively prepared, without being over-elaborate. The whole experience was very good. The only criticism? This is one of those noisy dining rooms with no acoustic dampening, so you do have to speak rather loudly to be heard. This is not a value for money dining option (you can rack up a big bill fairly quickly), but it is pretty much flawless.
Hand-picked crab with sea urchin and sweet red onions (pictured top).
Octopus with smoked aubergine and ricotta mustia
Beetroot tortelli with smoked burrata, ricotta and aged balsamic vinegar (this was superb: dish of the night).
Marinated black cod in Prosecco and paprika served with palourde clams
Scotch beef tagliata, marrow bones, buffalo blue cheese and salsa verde
This was a nice selection, focusing on the real strength of the list: the lesser-known Italian regions.
Pala Vermentino ‘I Silenzi’ 2014 Sardinia, Italy
Texturally nice with apple, citrus and pear fruit. Rounded, focused and smooth with lovely fruit. 88/100
Lidia Matera Santa Chiara Terre Nobili 2013 Calabria, Italy
This is Greco from 250 m away from the sea. Powerful and spicy with nice textured pear and ripe apple fruit. Rounded and smooth with some real interest. 91/100
Tormaresca Pietrabianca Castel del Monte 2013 Puglia, Italy
From Antinori, a blend of Chardonnay with 10% Fiano. Pithy and lively with lovely texture and hints of wax under the lemon and pear fruit. Quite fine and textural. 90/100
Silvia Imparato Aglianico ‘Core’ Montevetrano 2013 Campania, Italy
This is smoothly textured with lovely ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit. A polished version of Aglianico that is smooth and ripe with nice spiciness. 91/100