London’s love affair with dinky fresh pasta restaurants has not waned. On Friday 11 March, Louis Korovilas — of durum wheat darling Bancone and Michelin-starred institution Locanda Locatelli — will open Noci, on Islington Green. It’s serving a menu of fritti, Sicilian street food, and fresh pasta. Andiamo!
Korovilas’s current hero dish looks to be a plate of silk handkerchiefs, scattered with wild mushrooms with an egg yolk in the centre — though fans of the by-now familiar presentation will have to wait until autumn. His previous employer, Bancone, may be looking at it with a knowing eye.
“As in Italy, dishes will change with the seasons,” a feat for the entirely unseasoned country of England. Right now, expect a Genovese ragu, which involves veal, pork, and onions cooked down into a yielding snooze, topped not with Parmesan but Tête de Moine, a Swiss cheese. An open raviolo of herbed lamb shoulder sounds appealing, while the obligatory Roman cacio e pepe gets its time in the sun with brown butter, served over bigoli.
Spritzes — the essential counterpoint to fresh pasta in any self-respecting addition to London’s scene — will also be seasonal, promising pear and marjoram; spiced kumquat; sage and grapefruit; or pink peppercorn.
Not quite situated on Upper Street, possibly London’s weirdest, most transient restaurant strip, Noci will hope its proximity is a boon, rather than a curse. And for the city at large, its arrival is confirmation that in spring 2022, fresh pasta is still holding fast.