Italians flock to Newington Green for authentic home-cooking
A restaurant in Newington Green is serving up a slice of Southern Italy and it’s become hugely popular with London-based Italians.
Trattoria N16 has been trading for around 12 years but a year ago co-owner Demetris Demetriou bought his partner out of the business and went from silent partner to running the show.
The business, which serves up hundreds of pizzas on a typical weekend day, has a team of talented chefs from Naples who prepare dishes like sourdough pizza and Spaghetti alla Scoglio the traditional way under the watchful eye of Head Chef Pina Di Lauro.
And they’re pretty disparaging of big high street pizza chains. Chef Pasquale Brancato, who fell in love with cooking while working in his father’s deli in Naples, said: “Some of the big chains shouldn’t be allowed to call what they serve ‘pizza’! It’s terrible – their pizza bases are like chewing gum and there’s so much fat in them they make you feel stodgy.
“Very few restaurants in London serve pizzas as good as ours – there’s one in Trafalgar Square – Pizza Sokalo that also serve amazing pizzas. A good pizza has a light base that doesn’t make you feel full all day.”
Pizzas at Trattoria N16 are made using only flour, water and a small amount of yeast (no oil) and they’re left to prove for 24-hours.
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Nicola Miscio, who’s been working as a supervisor at the restaurant for six years, added: “We serve simple Italian dishes using fresh ingredients and we do them well. We get a lot of Italian customers here and you can understand why - we serve the same food as we had back home.”
The restaurant is a focus for community life – with regular Monday movie and pizza nights. Keep an eye out for their special Valentine’s menu.
General Manager Andrew Hutchison returned to the restaurant a year ago after a five-year absence. He’s seen a huge change in the area’s population since he was last here.
He said: “It’s changed loads since I was first here. It has become a lot more upmarket - years ago the area wasn’t too sharp and there were some dodgy characters about, but things are much better now. It’s a lovely area to work in – the businesses all know each other and get along and it’s a great neighbourhood. Sadly, the area has lost a lot of its younger people - many have been priced out now – they’ve moved to places like Walthamstow.”
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