Gotto Trattoria - a slice of the Italian Riviera on Hackney's Canalside banks
PUBLISHED: 19:04 25 April 2017 | UPDATED: 19:04 25 April 2017
The drinks at Gotto got the thumbs up from us well before we got started on its Puglian inspired food.
I’m a huge fan of chinotto – the Italian orange fizzy drink - and I was impressed Gotto makes its own house-blend spritz and signature bottled negroni for cocktails which have a similar bitter flavour.
The independent family-run diner at Canalside, in the former 2012 press building, specialises in hand-rolled pasta and sources seasonal ingredients from Italy which are bursting with flavour.
My children and a couple of friends shared several starters - but I would have liked the whole plate of the courgette fritters to myself if I’m being honest. Fried in a tempura style batter, the tiny slithers are crunchy and gnawish.
Calamaris (£6.50) are fresh and the batter is firm and crunchy, with a lovely lemon mayo. A small sharing pizzetta (£7) feels authentic as if you were in Naples, and the foccacia (£4) is nice and fluffy with a spicy olive oil. The burrata (£6.50) melts in your mouth.
My daughter, 8 - who ended up eating more than anyone - was initially fairly devastated that the ravioli - which she had her eye on - was filled with beetroot. “I hate beetroot,” she complained. But once the main courses were served and she tasted the creamy ricotta subtleness inside the home made pasta, she decided to share her Tagliata steak with me. I wasn’t complaining as the thinly sliced meat with rocket and parmesan was also delicious.
By the time it came to desserts we were all stuffed – but a word of advice is not to share, even if you feel as though your stomach can’t take any more. The tiramisu was more thick cream than wet sponge, and my son who claimed he was too full for pudding ended up frantically scraping every last morcel from the glass.
The place was packed when we visited on Thursday, with a bunch of regulars trying the monthly tasting set menu on a long table. Atmosphere was enhanced with a live singer belting out Blondie to an acoustic guitar. Gotto is all about good ingredients cooked simply and well, and it was a real pleasure to dine out en famille at the place which offers a little slice of the Italian Riviera in Hackney Wick.
Gotto Trattoria, Canalside, Here East, E15 2GW.