Review: Terra Rossa, Upper Street
- Credit: Archant
Terra Rossa, which translates to ‘red soil’, focuses on the beautiful flavours from a lesser-known corner of southern Italy.
It's food and wine from Puglia - the south-eastern district of Italy - which inspired the opening of the charming Terra Rossa on Upper Street earlier this year.
Dropping in last Friday evening underneath clear blue skies typical of, well, Puglia, the restaurant had its fully retractable windows wide open, allowing the buzz and chatter from inside to spill out on to the pavement.
This is a lovely space. With stripped-back interiors, rustic wooden tables and a white-washed bar stocked with Italian wines; interiors are subtle yet smart, and there are artworks of Puglia's signature trulli to add that extra authentic feel.
At the back of Terra Rossa is a semi-private, conservatory-styled space, with deep-red banquettes and big windows which let light flow in.
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This is where we sat for a feast that started with Burratta - a rich, creamy dome of mozzarella served on a bed of soft and sweet peppers - and Parmigiana, where thinly-fried aubergines come oven-baked and nicely paired with a tomato sauce.
A Cucina Povera (poor kitchen) ethos runs through head-chef Annarita Inguscio's menu here, with heaps of stonebaked pizzas as well as a thorough choice by way of pasta dishes.
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The Paccheri Al Ragu Di Mare (a type of 'seafood bolognese') is the hot favourite, but I went for the Maritati & Polpette - a generous bowl of mixed pasta, meatballs and a ragu sauce. Each piece of pasta is hand-rolled fresh on-site every day, and this really shows in the quality.
A starter and main at Terra Rossa was plenty of food to be contending with - a pudding on top of this would just be greedy - but the Sorbetto's "perfect to cleanse the palate" description talked me in to it, and sure enough this was a zesty and refreshing way to round off an evening of truly tasty Italian fare.
Terra Rossa, 139 Upper Street, N1 1QP. For more details, click here.