Bellissimo! A new Italian food area opens in Camden Market this week.
Italian Alley takes over five restored railway arches in the north London market, specialising in Italian food and beer.
Five restaurants make up the new foodie hotspot, each serving its own take on Italian flavours and produce, using traditional cooking techniques to prepare it.
Brace serves up BBQ with an Italian twist, while Focacceria Nazionale bases its flatbread recipe on that used in ancient Rome. Ciambotta offers 'banquets in a bun' — a cross between pizza and bread, filled with stew and quite the comfort food.
For meatballs, head to Polpetta, where both classic and more inventive ingredients are used. For pasta (let's face it, it wouldn't be Italian without it), hit up Semola, where it's served al dente, as is usual in Italy. Taglioni, butter and asparagus, plin filled with beer marinated lamb shank, and gnocchi with sausage ragu and lemon zest, are all on the mouth-watering menu.
A new outdoor, piazza-style seating area has been specially built, encouraging visitors to mix and match dishes from each of the arches and dine together, family-style. That said, this is north London, not the Tuscan hills, so a small amount of indoor seating is provided inside each arch.
The food at each restaurant has been paired with an accompanying Italian craft beer by brewer Baladin. They've also created a new brew, Nazionale, specially to celebrate Italian Alley's opening.