In a city where novelty concepts come and go, a touch of the reliably familiar can be reassuring. Lina Stores is a 75-year-old Soho institution. Alongside the Soho restaurant, the deli is the stuff of dreams with a treasure trove of the finest Italian exports from artisan biscotti to indulgent truffles, intoxicating olive oils and on-site crafted pasta. The beloved brand have opened up a second outpost in Kings Cross, fast becoming the City’s destination to watch for food culture. The design of the restaurant is palate-cleansingly refined and the serene mint-toned banquettes, elegant tableware and soft lighting makes this place feel real ‘fancy’. To the left are cosy family gatherings and weekend brunchers to the right are romantic couples – it’s a welcome place for everyone. The menu concept embodies the Italian food philosophy so well – simple flavours expertly offset. Small plates set the tone with addictive roasted mushrooms on fried polenta, the theatrical globe artichoke (with artichoke mayonnaise) and aubergine polpette…all with no holes barred on the olive oil. Genius comes in the form of 55g pasta plates sparing you the agony of choosing between dishes—order away without shame! ‘Generosity’ is the buzzword with 30-egg yolk enriched Tagliolini with black truffle; crab and scallop Rondini and the not-to-be-missed green ricotta Agnolotti Verdi over-generously stuffed with fillings. A side of fennel sings with tangy lemon confit and roasted Jerusalem artichokes are made all the more fragrant with rosemary. The drinks menu is extensive and inclusive with plenty of excellent alcohol-free options (thankfully not described as ‘mocktails’). If all that wasn’t enough, this restaurant also features an in-house deli to scoop up fresh pasta, obscenely stuffed cannoli and essential Italian party goods. Locals, Londoners and Lina first-timers are truly spoiled.
Images © Lina Stores