Friday, 26 September 2014

A nicer place to stuffa your face?

I was on my second pint before I realised I was in the wrong place.  Laura and I had finished fixing my website, and we were hungry.  And there was only one thing I was willing to eat.
"L suggested we try out Santore's.  S's friend works there, and apparently it's in Finsbury."
My heart sank as the Google search came though.  Santore's wasn't in Finsbury Park, but Exmouth Market - which, as some of you probably know, is in Finsbury Finsbury.  Once more, I had failed to do my research.  L would not be impressed.  I pulled out my notebook to scan my list of targets - and relaxed.
"Let's go to Papagone's."  I suggested.  "Okay, so it's a bit cheesy, but I'm pretty sure it has a wood fired oven."
I was right - and, after reading the menu, it became clear that Papagone's has more to it than meets the eye.  Fresh buffalo mozzarella?  Check.  Aperol spritz? Check.  Falanghina?  Check.  Strega?  Check.  And, to top it all off, I happen to know that their ice cream is to DIE for.
After careful consideration, I went for a Capricciosa - egg, ham, artichoke and, for an extra £1.90, buffalo mozzarella.  What came wasn't a disappointment - the base was a bit soggy, but I suspect this to be a side effect of the milky cheese.  What was more, I was offered sprinkles - result.  Laura was also happy with her Peppino - mozzarella, ricotta, spinach and sun dried tomato.
"It's a really good combo,"  she commented, "but Franco Mancha is better."
Mmm.  But Papagone's has a lot going for it and not just my points above - the staff are all Italian, the men flirtatious without being lecherous, the atmosphere fun and relaxed, and they cater for parties - which the repeated playing of "Happy Birthday" confirmed.  Okay, so at the end of our meal the service got a bit slow, but it was worth it for my pistachio and "nutella" ice cream - heaven.
Papagone's, I have to hand it to you - you've been the best so far. But will you beat Francho Mancha?  Only time will tell...
8/10.

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