Canto Corvino – Italy In The City

Canto Corvino is possibly my favourite Italian joint in the City as every time I go, they seem to bring plate after plate of intensely good food. I’ve blogged about my visits here before, but not for a while now, in case you missed my first set of mellifluous blabberings click here. Now onto the food..

Wonderful plonk, highly recommended (£34.50).

The culatello di zibello £10 is a charcuterie lover’s dream, it really is melt in the mouth, packing a tonne of flavour – as it should.

Sweet Sicilian red prawn arancini £7.50 comes with a pang of chilli and sweet tomato that makes you go back for more. That prawn shell mustn’t go to waste either as it’s a textural treat.

The fatty lamb ribs, smoked aubergine & sesame (£7.5) has an umami that garners your attention – the viscous sauce really compliments the fatty, melting lamb.

The Blood sausage gnudi ‘Amatriciana” (£10), has an alluring charm the made me order this again with zero regrets, it’s possibly the most accomplished dish I’ve eaten here.

Josperized cuttlefish campanelle with chilli & ginger £10.50 wasn’t much to look at, but the cone shaped, squid ink ruffled edged pasta was really quite nice, don’t let appearances deceive you.

Duck tortellini with Tuscan sausage £12 came with cime de rapa, that’s leafy turnip tops bursting with savoury and bitter flavours. Together with the layers of umami from the protein and well crafted pasta, it was a dish to be reckoned with.

The “hunter spiedino” (£42) was a game lovers dream of pheasant, venison and wild boar, josper grilled to stunning maillard exterior with a palate coating juicy centre. What I love about game is the inherent sweetness in flavour you get, they’ve got it in abundance here. Watch out for the pellets though!

Burnt greens with chilli & garlic £4 were delicious too, but it’s all about things that once had a pulse here.

Salted chocolate delizia was the pastry chef’s showcase of honey crema, white chocolate sorbet, white chocolate ice cream, chocolate crumb, rich chocolate mousse, hunks of chocolate brownies and shards of white & milk chocolate. The result is intensely satisfying.

Tiramaù £7 came with a booze soaked sponge and coffee mascarpone cheese. Delicious in it’s own right but not a patch on the outrageously good chocolate delizia.

A shout out goes to our brilliant waitress who recommended the hunter spiedino and chocolate delizia. Her knowledge of the dishes and hospitality made it a very fun ride indeed.

Visit Number Tre. This involved flexing the wining and dining muscles, with the aim to impress long-standing clients, Canto Corvino seemed to tick the all boxes to do so.

An aperitif or two whilst I wait for the guests. Don’t expect high end bar tender mixology and you’ll be alright.

Having a serious wine choice is one of the strengths of Canto Convino.

It’s those unctuous, smoky, melting lamb ribs with smoked aubergine & sesame (£7.5), so glad they’re still on the menu.

The bread, a focaccia baked onsite is full of squish and springiness, it’s ideal for the moppage of sauce, a lafare la scarpetta.

Truffle arancini £9.75 were keen in price, but also keen on flavour which is the aim of the game isn’t it? (Well just the latter then). I love the way they change things up here, but the Sicilian prawn arancini deserves permanent residency on the menu IMHO – kick the rest out.

How do you like you burrata? With pear and crisp sesame bread please – pleasant yes, but it doesn’t make a lasting impression like the rest.

Cullatello De Zibello (£10). Salumi cut from the hind leg of the animal, and its intense nutty funk is pure melting brilliance.

Pappardelle with duck ragu £21 was exquisite al dente pasta cookery and the sauce had nice seasoning and body. I felt like calling the police though as 21 quid seemed like day light robbery. Double the portion and that might be forgivable.

I couldn’t argue with how mouth-watering the duck tortellini (£18.50) was, but in the same vein of the pappardelle, it felt that we were short changed on the portion size, yet its a dish I keep going back for.

Next up was a huge stoneware bowl of hearty lentils, stewed down with aromatics, with lamb shoulder that was allowed to hang-out in the oven until the meat falls away from the bone. Someone had to pull me up for air.

Steamed clementine pudding with peppercorn and thyme £7.50 was refreshing, spicy and fragrant all at the same thyme. (See what I did there?).

The salted chocolate bomba arrived caramel ice cream with luxurious toffee notes and brilliantly made honey comb (£7.75). It was a clever interplay of technique from the pastry chef and I can only describe this as a Ferrero Rocher on steroids!

Happy clients.


When did I go? Jan 2016, Dec 16.
The damage: Expect to pay £60-£80 per head with wine. 
The good: Lots of unmissable dishes and astounding desserts with service that deserves cred. It’s not just clever Italian food but brilliant cookery all round. I’d recommend it.
The bad: Some of the dishes were stingy.
Rating: 4/5
Would I go again? It’s always on my radar.
Address: 21 Artillery Ln, London E1 7HA      

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