Review – Paesan (Italian Cucina) – Clerkenwell, London

Paesan Cucina

Clerkenwell is not somewhere that is usually on my radar so I hadn’t heard of Paesan before I went to check out their new menu. Situated on the corner of Exmouth Market it’s pretty easy to find though. This place prides itself on going back to basics in a good way. Using ingredients that are readily available and turning them into something delicious is all part of their ideology.

Head chef Mattia Antonioni takes you on a food lovers tour around Italy and when I went the chosen region was Sardinia. We tried a myriad of different cheeses, meats and bites that were teriffic, I particularly enjoyed the chargrilled artichokes and arancini. Usually I find rice balls to be a bit dry but these were lovely and moist with a cheesy surprise in the middle. We also tried some pasta dishes, my favourite of these was the braised rabbit and wild mushroom ragu. The rabbit was a first for me and do you know what? I really liked it!

Delicious arancini

Delicious arancini

The rabbit ragu was delicious!

The rabbit ragu was lovely!

The menu is made up of rustic regional dishes as enjoyed around any Italian family table. This ain’t no pizza joint! Along with the food we tried some cocktails. The cocktail list is made up of your regular favourites but with a twist, although I’m sure if you wanted the classic versions the bar staff would be happy to accommodate. Here are the three that I tried –

Cucumber Margarita - very fresh and made with elderflower and lime

Cucumber Margarita – very fresh and made with tequila, elderflower and lime

Pornstar Martini - vanilla vodka with a shot of Prosecco on the side

Pornstar Martini – vanilla vodka with a shot of Prosecco on the side

Zombie - black and white rum along with orange curacao and pineapple juice - my favourite of the night

Zombie – black and white rums along with orange curacao and pineapple juice – my favourite of the night

The layout of the premises consists of a ground floor, basement and outdoor seating area. It had a nice atmosphere and although the lighting was a bit dark for my photos, it was just right for those wanting a place to chill out, listen to some good music, eat some hearty food and sip a few cocktails. I thought the food was delicious and if I was ever back in the area I would certainly pop in for a cocktail or two and a plate of that delicious rabbit pasta. I wonder where chef will go next on his Italian culinary journey?

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