The Ultimate Guide to: London’s Best GnocchiBy Angelica Malin
Gnocchi is the best thing potatoes have ever done for us. Fact. If you, like me, are a gnocchi lover, then get your forks at the ready and get stuck into the best plates in London. Here’s our guide to the finest gnocchi at some of the best Italian restaurants in London. Somebody pass the parmesan.
The Dish: Truffle Gnocchi (£20)
Why: Everyone’s got ‘their place’. You know the one; your little secret restaurant, reserved for only best friends, special occasions or highly eligible suitors. You’d only take someone there if you really liked them, or really wanted to impress them, because it holds a special place in your heart. For me, Mele e Pere is that and more. It’s one of the best Italian restaurants in London, and for good reason.
Expect: The menu is designed to be shared; you can choose from 3-4 sharing plates for a starter, small plates of pasta, or larger mains. Go for a pasta feast for mains; try our favourite truffle gnocchi, adorned with generous shavings of black truffle and a sprinkling of parmesan, a tomato spaghetti with spicy sausage meat, edamame beans and cherry tomatoes, and a deliciously different fish ravioli, filled with a fish puree, topped with seaweed. It’s Italian trattoria perfection.
Where: 46 Brewer St, London W1F 9TF
Photo Credit: Paul Winch-Furness
The Dish: Potato, sage and parmesan gnocchi (£9)
Why: Inspired by the many years Alain Ducasse spent visiting the vibrant food markets in Italy and Provence, Rivea London offers French and Italian cuisine in a chic, convivial and relaxed setting with informal yet impeccable service. Alain Ducasse is championing his protégé Chef Alexandre Nicolas who is at the helm of the restaurant.
Expect: Executive Chef Alexandre Nicolas’ menu of small plates incorporates the classic flavours and vivid colours of the Riviera, with a focus on simple creations and the best ingredients, particularly vegetables. Alongside a myriad of local produce, specialist products including cured meats and olive oil from Italy are part of the experience. It’s one of the best Italian restaurants in London for a seriously fancy, unforgettable experience.
Where: Bulgari Hotel, Bulgari Hotel London, 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW
The Dish: Gnocchi, onion squash, goat’s curd, sage, brown butter (£16)
Why: Taking inspiration from around the world, all the dishes at Fifteen are designed for sharing. Using incredible British produce, whole animals and fish are butchered and prepared on site every day, and paired with ingredients so good they really speak for themselves.
Expect: Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen is a ‘non-profit’ restaurant and bar near Old Street in Islington, London. They cook elegant, rustic, honest food that flicks your senses from classic, nostalgic flavours to new, inspired dishes cooked by super-skilled young minds. Fifteen also has a buzzing cocktail bar and a kitchen led by Robbin Holmgren.
Where: 15 Westland Pl, London N1 7LP
The Dish: Gnocchi with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil (£16)
Why: Since its launch in 2008, Gianfilippo’s Bottega Prelibato has established itself as a firm favourite for authentic Italian food and an intimate, lively atmosphere in the Shoreditch Triangle. The deli is a treasure trove of artisanal cured meats, organic vegetables and fresh snacks, whilst the art gallery is a constantly changing exhibition space that plays host to exciting and emerging Hackney artists.
Expect: The restaurant serves up seasonal, mouth-watering dishes ranging from a platter of oozing burrata and salty-sweet Parma ham to a comforting bowl of handmade pappardelle with a rich wild mushroom sauce, washed down nicely with impeccably chosen Italian wine.
Where: 45 Rivington St, London EC2A 3QB
The Dish: Gnocchi, San Marzano tomatoes & burrata (£10.50)
Why: This rustic restaurant serves thin crust pizza by the metre on wooden sharing boards, with roof terrace. The food is fantastic, everything from spaghetti bolognaise to the best mozzarella – Made in Italy brings a little bit of Southern Italian to the UK.
Expect: Neapolitan experts Made In Italy use hand-made dough, imported Italian ingredients, and a wood-fired oven to craft true artisan pizzas! Come here for sharing pizza. Served on a wooden chopping board, the pizza is covered with strips of different ingredients to meet everyone’s tastes. They can make pizzas from ½ to 1 whole metre! For fun, sharing food, this is one of the best Italian restaurants in London.
Where: 249 King’s Rd, London SW3 5EL
The Dish: Gnocchi di patate e porcini (£16.50)
Why: Locanda Locatelli is one of the finest Michelin-starred restaurants in London, noted as much for its conviviality as the quality of its food. Expect an imaginative take on classic Italian, with extensive wine list and great bread.
Expect: All the Italian goodness. Start with fresh burrata cheese with pumpkin, hazelnuts and thyme – it’s a real winner. Then try a selection of their fantastic pasta, such as homemade pheasant parcels with rosemary jus and linguine with lobster, tomato, garlic & chilli. The dessert of fig cream, vin cotto sauce, lemon crumble and almond ice cream can’t be missed.
Where: 8 Seymour St, London W1H 7JZ
The Dish: Homemade potato gnocchi filled with pumpkin, panna acida, Amalfi lemon ash Bronte pistachios (£9.50)
Why: Simplicity is the key: the cooking style at Twist Kitchen enhances the natural flavours of each product, creating a taste explosion in every mouthful. They focus on freshness, sourcing the best of seasonal ingredients. They source the best meat from UK farmers, such as Josper Bone steak which is aged for 35 days, for maximum flavour.
Expect: A real, original and tasty experience where all the senses are engaged – this is a trendy and casual environment, with a warm and vibrant atmosphere. Expect amazing Waygu beef, smoked cured duck, and great tuna tartar. There’s also some wickedly good desserts, such as carrot cake with ginger ice cream.
Where: 42 Crawford St, London W1H 1JW
The Dish: Gnocchi Gorgonzola (£12) in a baked parmesan basket
Why: Each season Cicchetti launches a new, expertly crafted menu. While still retaining the favourites, the new dishes will feature the freshest and best seasonal ingredients sourced from markets in Milan. With an Italian Chairman, Italian director, Italian chefs, Cicchetti is an authentic Italian restaurant.
Expect: San Carlo Cicchetti reinterprets the delightful Venetian culinary custom of cicchetti – delicious small plate dishes to share or eat alone, enjoyed with a beer or glass of wine. Come here for the best pasta in London – from aubergine parmigiana to great lasagne, every pasta dish here will excite and amaze you.
Where: San Carlo Cicchetti is at 215 Piccadilly or 30 Wellington St, Covent Garden
Photo Credit: Matthew Pover
The Dish: Gnocchi alla sorentina (£7) – potato gnocchi with mozzarella, tomato & fresh basil
Why: La Gioconda Pizzorante is a family run restaurant with a generation of experience of best Italian handmade dishes. Their food is delicious and is made by passionate Italian chefs – come and dine with here and enjoy specialities created in their open kitchen and in a cozy atmosphere.
Expect: The best fresh bread, focaccia and hand roll grissini, homemade gnocchi with porcini mushrooms and fresh cream sauce, and pizza with tomato, mozzarella, peppers, spinach, artichokes, aubergine and mushrooms. Don’t skip dessert here, either. The chocolate tart – a shortcrust pastry base filled with chocolate cream, decorated with half pear and chocolate curls – is worth travelling for.
Where: K T ‘s Cafe, High St, London N8 7QB
The Dish: Gnocchi with Luganica sausage and sprouting broccoli (£21 for two courses)
Why: This gnocchi is the dream. We love the contemporary Italian food with a twist at Mayfair’s Novikov – it’s one for a special dinner. On the lunch menu, you’ll find delights like scottish salmon tartar with yogurt dressing, pomegranate and quail’s eggs, and fresh penne with fish ragout and datterino tomatoes. At dinner time, you can get your gnocchi fix with their amazing potato gnocchi with lamb ragout.
Expect: Novikov Restaurant & Bar combines cool and contemporary interiors with a superlative culinary offering. Located in the heart of Mayfair, Novikov is great for a fancy dinner. As soon as you enter in Novikov Italian Restaurant you cannot miss the imposing wood-fired oven, suede wall panelling, mirrors in solid oak frames and the rustic chandeliers.
Where: 50A Berkeley St, London W1J 8HA