If you read my blog you probably already know that I don’t like eating Italian while dining out: why bother over-spending on something I could easily cook myself? After reading Grace Dent’s review of Spitalfields’ Canto Corvino, however, I was tempted: and mamma mia, it was worth it.
Canto Corvino is a 140-cover modern Italian restaurant and bar taking up two floors at 21 Artillery Lane, Spitalfields. Its name translates to “the song of the raven” and it refers to Artillery Lane’s former name, Raven Row. This classy dining spot is miles away from your usual, boring Italian: the third restaurant from Andrew and Ninai Zarach, owners of the hugely successful Manicomio restaurants in Chelsea and the City, Canto Corvino sports a sleek industrial interior, drawing on the warehouse aesthetic and trading heritage of the Spitalfields area.
As soon as you make your way in, the incredibly corteous, friendly and talkative staff (one of them from my native Sardinia, which always helps) will lead you into a buzzing dining hall where you can see the chefs work their magic in the kitchen right in front of you.
Highlights from the menu include chilli and tomato arancini and Saltmarsh lamb ribs with smoked aubergine and sesame. Cheeses and Italian “salumi”, cured meats sourced and imported in-house from small artisan Italian producers, are also on the menu. My personal favourites however were an antipasti of pears, trevise, blu di bufala and Jerusalem artichokes I had with a delicious mango, pineapple and mint juice.
While at Canto Corvino, don’t miss out on the jolly of the whole menu: the restaurant’s pumpkin cannelloni smattered with walnuts and smoked provola is the end of the world, and Grace Dent agrees.
Canto Corvino also offers a brunch menu, a mix between Italian classics with a twist and British traditions with an Italian edit. The weekend offering features smoked salmon bagels with burrata and beetroot and Short rib hash with fried eggs and devilled jus.
I love an Italian that knows how to go above and beyond the old, established classics: Canto Corvino is definitely one of them. I will be back.