Taste of Italy in Dalston – Rotorino

Rotorino is an Italian restaurant and wine bar that is in Dalston. I was invited along to try out their regional Italian set course meal last Tuesday. I am half Maltese so Italian food is my number one cuisine.

Rotorino – Who they are

Head Chef’s Lewis and Stevie are constantly working on new things to bring Italy to Dalston. The menu changes slightly every day along with new specials every week. All the pasta dishes are available in small or large size. However as they are an Italian restaurant and Italian’s love sharing they highly encourage sharing plates.

On Sundays they cook a few different roasts with a British and Italian twist calling them the ‘Britalian’ and just costing £15.

Every final Tuesday of the month they hold special regional nights with a set menu.

Rotorino is open seven nights a week and all-day on Sunday.

Rotorino – The restaurant and bar area

Upon entering through the doors and curtain to keep the heat within the restaurant you’ll notice exposed brick work, a lovely long bar area and dark wooden tables and booths. The whole restaurant is also softly lit giving it a very classy, relaxed and romantic feel making it the perfect setting for a romantic date. The thing that I really liked though about the layout of the restaurant that the tables are well spaced out and so you are not sitting ontop of each other.

Rotorino – Dinner time (Tuesday 30 January)

Every last Tuesday of the month they have a regional night showcasing a particular cuisine from a certain area of Italy. The set 4 course meal costs £28 per person. There are two seating’s on the night either 6.30pm or 9pm.

Rotorino menu

When I went along the other night I had the pleasure to enjoy dishes from the regional area of Lombardy. Lombardy is set in Northwest Italy inland and Milan is it’s capital. Typically rice, maize, meats and cheeses are the most popular foods within this region.

The first course

Starter Rotorino

This was a sharing platter. I shared Mondeghilli (veal, beef & parmesan fried meatballs), Bresoala (salted dried beef), Alborelle (fish) and Taleggio & pomodoro bruschetta with my fellow blogger community friends Steve, Emily and Leanne.

The Mondeghilli is a meat ball made with veal, beef and parmesan. It was juicy and full of flavour.

Bresaola is air-dried, salted beef which has been aged for around three months until it starts to become hard and turns a dark red. It was lean and tender, sweet and had a musty smell. I learnt that it originated in Valtellina within the Alps of northern Italy’s Lombardy region.

Alburnus arborella is a species of ray-finned fish It is a freshwater fish which swim in the lakes of and streams in Europe.

Taleggio is an Italian cheese. It’s one of the oldest soft cheeses produced every autumn and winter. The cheese had a very strong smell but has quite a mild flavour with a slight fruity tang.

I loved the sharing aspect though as it got us all talking about the food and the region. It also made us learn a lot more about each other in what we like and don’t like food wise. This certainly also showed us all who was the fussiest and that was me.

The second course

Rotorino starter

We could choose from either Tortelli di zucca (Pumpkin ravioli) or Marubini in brodo (meat tortellini in a broth). I chose the Tortelli di zucca as I love pasta and pumpkin. It was most probably the most freshest, creamiest and tastiest pumpkin ravioli I have ever had. I wish I was served a lot more of it.

The third course

Rotorino meal

For the third meal again had to choose from either Luccio in salsa (fish), Osso bucco & saffron risotto (beef risotto) or Buckwheat Pizzoccheri. I opted for the risotto as I love risotto. Even though this dish was very tasty I just felt it was slightly overpowered by the beef, drowning in beef broth and too much was served. I feel if it was a smaller portion and less beef broth I might of liked it much better.

The fourth course

Rotorino dessert

Onto dessert. We was presented a sharing platter of desserts consisting of Panettone, Sbrisolona (crunchy tart), Torrone and Provolone Valpadanna with Mostarda di frutta. All very interesting.

Panettone is an Italian sweet bread loaf a bit like madeira cake. I was not personally keen on this as I have never been a fan and with it being toasted it made it quite dry.

Sbrisolona is a traditional crunchy tart and it certainly was as the tart had a real crunch.

The Torrone was my favourite out of all the traditional Italian desserts as it is the classic Italian nougat. It’s sticky, sweet and full of flavour.

Provolone is an Italian cheese which is made from cow’s milk came served with plenty of crackers and some fruit type chutney Mostarda di frutta. I liked it but I could not eat lots of it as the cheese was very strong in flavour and I prefer milder cheese.

Verdict

I loved the evening as I got to taste food from the region of Lombardy which I did not know much about but after that evening I feel I have learned a bit about the region. The food was Fantastico as one famous Italian chef would say. I will most certainly be checking out their website on a regular basis to see which other regions they might do in the future.

Rotorino is a very warm, welcoming and friendly restaurant serving outstanding Italian meals and certainly is a very romantic place. So if you are looking for a romantic meal or even a nice night with family/friends then Rotorino is in my opinion one of the nicest warmest Italian restaurants in London.

To book a table click here

Rotorino group photo

To read Steve’s, Emily’s and Leanne blogs click here.

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