If you strut up and down Highgate Road on a regular basis, you’ll be more than aware of the exciting changes at Rossella.
Highgate Road’s long-standing trattoria, spearheaded by super-friendly owner Luca Meola, is just coming up to ten years serving the good people of Kentish Town (and beyond).
To celebrate its first decade – hopefully at the end of the toughest time ever for hospitality – the venue has just doubled in size. Better still, there’s now a useful all-day deli, cafe and store, too.
“My dream was always to have a bit more space and bring fresh produce,” says Luca, pictured above. “So what we’re really trying to do here now is, for example, serve you a lovely pasta dish in the restaurant, and then make it possible to buy the pasta, and even bottled versions of the tomato sauces, in the store.”
The new deli has “everything you need to bring Italian al fresco dining to your home,” says Luca, from “our favourite cheeses, and classic Italian meats” to wines, spirits, Italian aperitifs, olive oils, herbs and other essentials. There are also chiller-cabinet items like olives, artichokes and fresh pesto.
Luca’s family are from Benevento, near Naples, and own a vineyard where they make their own house red wine. Called Aglianco, it’s a 14.5% full-bodied red that is now also for sale (at £24). “Our house white will soon be sustainably available too, and we even make our own limoncello and meloncello”, he says (sold in stylish bottles for £18). Forthcoming plans will seem them stocking their own salamis, honey and everything possible from the family farm.
Don’t forget it’s an all-day cafe, too. Coffee is now served from 830am, the beans courtesy of Kentish Town heroes Doppio. You can, of course, pick up bags to brew at home, as well as enjoy a cup on the pavement terrace (incidentally: what a view over the Georgian townhouses opposite). And, if you’re a gadget fan, there are also Italian coffee makers and reusable cups on sale.
To accompany the morning caffeine hit, fresh croissants – savoury, almond and chocolate – are delivered daily (they use the Too Good To Go app to avoid any unnecessary waste), but our tip is a cannoli with your espresso: at just 80p, the pistachio one is a gooey bite-size treat.
Lunchtime sees fresh focaccia sandwiches filled with, say, pistachio mortadella and pesto (£4.50), or buffalo mozzarella, sun-dried tomato and lettuce (£4.20). And, for dessert – or if you’re on a weekend wander up to the Heath – there are a dozen choices of Italian gelato.
Luca is proud to stock products that every Italian parent gives their offspring “as it reminds me of my childhood,” he says. These include everything from the tiny star-shaped pasta shapes from upmarket brand Rummo to bags of Mulino Bianco sweet treats and biscuits. “The kinds of things that make you feel like a kid again,” he says, with a big grin.
His enthusiasm is infectious; pop by and see for yourself. And next week, don’t miss part two of our Rossella special: with the brand new 60-seater restaurant officially open, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about NW5’s latest dining destination.
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