There are only a handful of restaurants in London that give me stomach pangs over the thought of going back to. The Diary in Clapham is one of them. Our first visit was perfect, it was the height of summer, we sat outside on the Common and each and every plate was a delectable treat served on the loveliest natural stoneware. The masterful Head Chef, Robin Gill has spread his unique style even further in SW4 with the new Sorella; a true neighbourhood Italian.
The menu is hugely influenced by a luxurious stint on Italy's Amalfi Coast and is dictated by the produce arriving in from the owner's farm. It showcases the produce in a simple and authentic yet modern way, starting with cicchetti and antipasti with outstanding highlights including crispy fried olives, pork and fennel salumi, duck egg with artichoke, raw cuttlefish with monks beard and squid ink arancini.
Primi includes; rich and creamy crab linguine, cep gnocchi with girolles, a wonderful white truffle linguine and a seasonal beef ragù. I visited with a group of girlfriends, one being celiac and each pasta dish was available expertly recreated using homemade gluten free pasta - a real rarity in London.
Secondi is larger and served family-style using whole cuts from rare breeds and daily changing fish sourced from Kernowsashimi. For dolci, expect Pump Street chocolate with fennel gelato and a frozen affogato with homemade coffee liquor. Drinks focus on slight twists on Italian classics; seasonal bellinis, a cherry smoked negroni, a bergamot Garibaldi and a house spritz. The wine list is small, concise and perfectly Italian.
To round the meal off, presented with your bill are a selection of perfectly delicate orange and poppy seed polenta cakes in a small wooden drawer. Total la dolce vita.