Pappagone, Finsbury Park London

This is one of my favourite Italian restaurants in London and even better that it is local for me in Finsbury Park on Stroud Green Road. We recently did a review of Padella Pasta which is another favourite but the pasta here is on a par with Padella as well as having the benefit of more menu choice in terms of both pastas, starters and as the name suggests, pizza from a wood burning oven.

It is a real family place. You will always be met with a friendly Italian man at the door – possibly one of the owners (Marco or Marco!). All the staff seem to be passionate foodie Italians and the place is always pretty full so book in advance if you can especially at the weekend. There is a general buzz to the place and I have been for big birthdays (20+ people), a group of guys for pizza and a couple of bottles of wine and salad and pasta dates. The quality of food and service every time is superb.

House wine is a very reasonable £12.50 a bottle and is perfectly drinkable, but I recommend the Negroamaro I.G.T. Puglia at £18.50. Of couse you can start with a nice bottle of Moretti beer if you want too!

The starters (sorry Antipasti) are great, there is a good choice of delicious salads. I would highly recommend the TRECCIA DI BUFALA (seen below – parma ham, cherry tomatoes, pesto and buffalo mozzerella – which is of a particularly good quality). The dish is a very good size and you would want to share it. It would be a suitable main course for someone at lunch who isn’t starving hungry. Otherwise the BURRATINA PUGLIESE is a good alternative – Burrata with grilled aubergines and tomatoes.

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For mains, the steaks are good and the pizza is very satisfying too but I actually believe the pasta is where Pappagones excels. You should be here for the starters plus pizza or pasta in my opinion but personally I think I prefer the pizzas at Pizza Pilgrims, Homeslice or Franca Manca (type and thickness of dough base and type of mozzarella). Don’t get me wrong, the pizzas here are good and if you do fancy a pizza go for the PIZZA CAMPAGNOLA or CALZONE. I would say try the pastas at Pappagones which are incredible.

My personal favourite is the PACCHERI PORCINI E SPECK seen below. The sauce is rich and creamy with the wonderful porchini mushroom flavour coming through the sauce, crispy bacon lardons (speck) and wonderfully al dente pasta. It’s a rich and indulgent but utterly satisfying plate of pasta.

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The PAPPARDELLE BROCCOLI e PANCETTA is another favourite. I am a huge fan of tagliatelle with broccoli (sprouting or purple preferably), anchovies, chilli, garlic and plenty of parmesan. This dish is similar but with panchetta instead of anchovies. It’s lighter than the porchini e speck but just as satisfying. Frankly I think you can choose most things on the Pappagone’s menu and not be disappointed. Give it a go.

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Pizzeria Pappagone – 131 Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3PX

Website: http://www.pizzeriapappagone.co.uk/

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