- theHappyAdventurer – London, United Kingdom 5/5/2012 “The BEST of Italy comes to London” - I am currently on the train heading towards London, or to be more precise-going to the sublime Quinto Quarto Restaurant where I once again intend to explore the menu further. In fact just the anticipation of eating there whilst typing this review is causing making my mouth water as my body prepares for another gastronomic treat.
Choosing from the highly original menu will not be easy but my intention is to keep returning until I have explored everything, Though it’s hard not to go for the Lamb Shank again as the last experience was the best I have ever had. Now from a dish that is one of my top favourites and which I have tried many times in many restaurants that is not a statement to be taken lightly. But…
The meat simply fell off the bone at the lightest of touches and into the flavour packed sauce that surrounded it. This was due to it being cooked to perfection with a skilled combination of top quality ingredients. Subsequently the end of my eating experience at Quinto Quarto I found that I too had fallen- from my position of eating in “just another restaurant” because I was hungry and the price/menu ratio appeared good value -into feeling welcomed and important as I bathed in the friendly atmosphere, attentive service and genuine customer care that far surpassed anything that I could have expected if only because of its heartfelt sincerity.
The chef and owner came to the table himself and verified that everything was agreeable with the meal and the wine, which I might add complimented the meal perfectly.
With a comfortable, warm and homely feeling to the decor, which as well as being totally free of any pretence was full of an ambience of understated quality, in particular the beautiful solid wood tables and chairs with their rich grain and high quality finish.
In fact the only thing which did not stand out was the background music which maybe lacked coordination/theme as it was not very Italian.
However the important thing is the food which is in a league of its own and cannot be recommended highly enough so my firm advice is to try it for yourself and see what you think and most likely like me you too will find yourself returning for more.
……As for me, I can’t wait to get there!
Visited March 2012
- Riccardo p – London, United Kingdom 28/4/2012 “unlike any other italian restaurant in london” - you won’t find this food anywhere else in london. the amazing food has traditional roots but with a smart and contemporary execution. good job chef adalberto!
Visited April 2012
- Nobu I – London, United Kingdom 22/3/2012 I had ‘Roman Style Oxtail Tagliatelle, Cocoa Powder and Truffle Pecorino’ tonight. Rich tomato source with oxtail goes with fresh pasta. This is one of unique place where you can eat real Italian foods. Staff and Chef are also very friendly. Very much Recommended.
- Caroline M. – London, United Kingdom 19/3/2012 Within less than 5 minutes walk from Angel Station, this little Italian restaurant represents the epitome of a hidden gem. The menu is not that of your standard Italian – it is evident that a great deal of care and attention has gone into the selection of each dish and the quality of the food itself is enough to challenge even its most established rivals. Staff are extremely friendly and provide great service. Overall, a fantastic yet affordable restaurant which I cannot recommend highly enough.
- Valerie H – Chelmsford, United Kingdom 18/2/2012 There is no better way of combining a visit to Sadlers Wells with a pre theatre meal at Quinto Quarto. A unique and authentic Italian menu coupled with good wine and a warm friendly welcome. Not the usual run of the mill experience of a chain restaurant. At QQ you will meet the Chef and staff who will engage and tempt you in a good natured way.
Roy and Val from Essex.
- M.D. - London 23/1/2012 Quinto Quarto is a new Italian restaurant on St John Street, close to Sadlers Wells. It is not a re-invention of the previous restaurant on this site (which was poor!) and has a new owner-chef who serves up a pre-theatre and a la carte menu in the evening and ‘comfort food’ at lunch time. I live locally and this was my second visit. I’d planned on only having 2 courses but the chef was so proud of his food and, as it was a quiet night, so we were treated to a variety of mini tastings and left very full and happy (with a doggie bag!). Of particular mention was the oxtail with cocoa and the very light and fluffy polenta fritters…..a local gem.
Looking to carve a name for itself by using the more unusual cuts of meat, Quinto/Quarto is a family run, rustic Italian restaurant serving up authentic dishes from Rome.
Review by Angela Jones 20/02/2012
There is familial warmth from this small team, with the owner, Adalberto Battaglia, chatting amongst guests about his dishes and background. Attention to detail is meticulous, with the waiter topping up the delicious, homemade breadsticks throughout the meal, and even spoiling diners with a few amuse-bouche – all complimentary of course. This is a classic bistro and should thrive even in an area well known for its eateries.
This is classic, humble Italian (specifically, Roman) cooking at its very best. As the name suggests (the ‘fifth quarter’ – the leftovers of the butchered animal), it’s nose to tail dining, reflecting the fact that traditionally, offal plays as big a part as any in Roman cuisine.
There is an a la carte menu with the typical line up of starters, pastas, mains and desserts, but there is also a well priced set menu, which changes with the seasons. A la carte starters are £6.95 and include interesting options such as ox tongue, served in a rich, saffron infused gravy with more than a hint of chilli. An entrée style portion of oxtail spaghetti is accompanied by a silken pomodoro sauce with perfectly al dente pasta.
Main courses (£12.95) are authentic, rustic and hearty. Veal cheeks with a chestnut gnocchi and masala wine sauce are cooked to perfection, whilst the neck of lamb Mediterranean, served with a crisp polenta fritta, is a dish with plenty of earthy flavours. For desserts, there is homemade tiramisu as well as gelato and sorbetti brought in from Gelupo. However, the stars of the show are the chocolate crepes; they may be a French dish, but they are an excellent way to round off the meal.
Quinto/Quarto’s attentive staff are on standby to help match the ideal wine to the meal, which they do well with a fruity Mandrarossa that sits perfectly with the balance of rich meats, pastas and chilli. More treats are in store with complementary after-dinner tipples, a glass of sweet wine a spot on way to finish the evening in style.
The Last Word
With the nearby Smithfield meat market, the ‘nose to tail’ fare at Quinto/Quarto is in good company. As long as the interior gets a spruce up, this place will soon begin to win the hearts of Clerkenwell’s discerning foodies.
FROM YELP.CO.UK (Read 6 filtered reviews)
- David A. - London 22/1/2012 I went there a few times and I really think I will keep going there with my friends. The place is quite small and cozy and the staff is really polite and friendly. The chef Adalberto is a great guy always greeting you in and the menu is getting everyday better. Good prices for great dishes.
- Rick P. - London 21/1/2012 Have been to QQ a few times now, and things seem to be getting better every time. The chef is still finalising the menu so I’m expecting some interesting surprises going forward, but some dishes are already great. I wish Adalberto and the restaurant all the success they deserve.
- Andrea F. - London 18/1/2012 As a student I always expect to find a cheap meal but as an italian I also expect good quality food. At Quinto Quarto prices are really convenient and food is absolutely excellent!Quinto Quarto is exactly what an italian restaurant should be: small, with a warm atmosphere, a nice and smiling waitress, a likeable and exuberant chef (which will be happy to explain the meaning of the restaurant name) and a rich menu with most of the traditional meals of the italian cuisine.My favourite meals at Quinto Quarto are the “Lasagna” and “Pasta al Pesto” but I also find the “Chicken Cesar salad” one of the best I’ve ever eaten. I suggest too, at the end of your meal, to order an “Espresso” which is served in perfect italian-style.
- Heidi L. - London 18/1/2012 Just south of the franchised furore of the Angel high street restaurant strip, in the residential quietude of St Johns Street is a small restaurant that really deserves to succeed. The Italian chef Adalberto, who will undoubtedly introduce himself, has a chaotic and utterly heartwarming passion for food that will see him drop suddenly onto a nearby chair to turn his full attention to the explanation of a dish and its class-based origins. Or return to the table to finish a thought he began two courses ago. But this restaurant is so much more than just a big personality; the food is darn tasty, and consistently so. By my fourth visit I must have ordered or sampled most things on the menu and found every dish a well-seasoned, generously portioned traditional Italian flavour bomb. Truly “al dente” pasta, meat treated with respect and scrumptious buttery vegetable side dishes that make you momentarily forget the main course. The veal cheeks of unimaginable meatiness with soft pillows of gnocchi was the dish that had me hooked. An innovative twist on a delicious chickpea soup found me happily chasing hefty chunks of calamari and mussels in and around forkfuls of tagliatelle. Adalberto’s signature dish, oxtail and chocolate tagliatelle pays homage to an ancient roman flavour pairing that, since tasting this dish, I’m convinced deserves reviving. Although I found myself wanting to be impacted by more of the chocolate nuance, which may be achieved when the chef has the facilities to make fresh chocolate pasta on site (a work in progress). The ethical nose-to-tail approach (utilising every part of an animal) has gained a lot of traction over the decade and Quinto/Quarto- literally the ‘Fifth Quarter’- promotes a healthy respect for the unpopular cuts of meats that are often wasted. The economic imperative of doing so is also reflected in the very reasonable prices- £4.25 lunch menu- £8-12 dinner mains. My main gripe is that there aren’t more customers and I can only hope that word-of-mouth will snowball to make Quinto/Quarto bustle and thrive.
- Mary D. - London 9/1/2012 The Chef at Quinto Quarto wisely chose to do a soft opening in December 2011 and without any of the advertising fanfare has been concentrating on getting the menu, service is just right and ironing out some teething problems I think this is going to pay off. So… there was a mix up with the wine listings on the menu and the Christmas decoration fell down and the heating fan was noisy and awaiting repair, but the food more than made up for this. My starter of gnocchi was served with a very fresh tomato sauce and the main of ox tail with chocolate was a wonderful flavour combination and the meat so tender it simply fell apart. The chocolate covered pancake and sorbet that followed was a perfect way to finish up. The discounted bill was a bonus – I’d happily have paid full price.
- Lizzy T.. - London 31/12/2011 Quinto Quarto is a recently opened Italian restaurant about 5 mins walk from Angel tube station. Advertised as a contemporary restaurant, I would say this place is quite the opposite – not in a bad way, but just very traditional, very good homemade Italian food. Run by a north western Italian chef and a delightful and friendly young Italian waitress, this place is a real gem. We started off with some traditional Italian flatbread toasted with garlic olive oil which was delicious. We also were surprised with a starter comprising chicken and parma ham terrine with an olive/lemon/herb (parsley?) sauce which was nice served with focaccia bread. For main I chose the neck of lamb with tomato sauce mixed with capers and polenta. The lamb was cooked to perfection and just the right amount to balance the rich and tangy tomato sauce. We also had some cooked “ratatouille” vegetables on the side which were cooked in olive oil and garlic which were lovely, but to be honest, I think the main was filling enough! My friends had cheese gnocchi with chicken and tomato with red peppers (clean plate afterwards spoke for itself!) and veal with gnocchi which was equally delicious (veal was a tad fatty but we noted this to the chef so I’m sure they will take note . To finish I had a cappuccino but my friend had an apple crust (tart) with cranberries which she said was very good. The chef also came out twice to greet us and check the food went down well and we all felt very well looked after!
As the Quinto/Quarto Restaurant is quite new, we are sharing some reviews from Adha Chef’s early career: