When the tiny Royal College Street original Casa Tua opened in 2013 opposite Camden Road station, it seemed an unlikely spot for what has since become a local two-floor institution.
And yet despite its central NW1 location, it always has an enviable neighbourhood feel, whether you swing by for a strong coffee, a plate of oozing burrata or low-lit evening meal.
It’s equally fine for a Venetian aperitif, too. We’ve lost count of the times we’ve nursed a negroni or Campari spritz outside in the evening sun on its west-facing pavement terrace, with those cute barrels and semi-rustic foliage.
Like everyone in hospitality, owner Giuseppe Miggiano has had a tough time this year and, at the height of the pandemic, decided to put the time to good use.
“We refurbed the Camden branch during the lockdown,” he says. “There’s now a new bar, new open kitchen – with a nice natural skylight – and a small space for a future chef’s table.”
And it sure looks pretty smart, the additional white tiled back room – not to mention, on our midweek visit, busy but socially distanced basement dining area – adding to the quirky vibes of the interior.
Even better? “We’ve introduced pizza,” he says. “It’s super-crunchy and tasty. There are not many options because we want keep the quality high across the whole menu, from the fresh homemade pasta to the sauces and arancini.”
With that in mind expect just four to choose from, including a simple Margherita and Capricciosa (fior di latte, ham, mushrooms and black olives, artichokes and black olives).
We opted for a meaty Diavola, with creamy fior di latte and spicy salami, and the super-tasty chef’s special, a gooey four-cheese affair with earthy truffle and rocket.
Need some greens? Order a healthy side of cime di rapa, sautéed wild broccoli with garlic and chilli.
If you’re less bread-based and more a fan of Casa’s original dishes, don’t be alarmed: the classic sausage and ricotta tortelloni with truffle and butter is there, as is the signature carbonara and eight-hour slow-cooked beef ragu. Mouth watering yet?
We’ll take that as a yes. “After seven years,” Giuseppe says, “we are still here and keeping going. We love the community in Kentish Town, Camden and also King’s Cross, which is where our second branch now is too.”
Just make sure you jump in quick to book 50% off food on an #EatOut table next Mon-Wed (and the following Mon 31st), until the end of August.
And that’s not all: during the whole of September, Casa Tua is offering readers discounts of 25% off the total bill if you spend more than £20 a head, Mon-Wed.