Via Emilia

37a Hoxton Square, N1 6NN
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Mon–Fri 11.30am–11.00pm Sat 1.00pm–11.00pm Sun 1.00pm–10.30pm

I’m not really a bean person. You can’t trust people who love beans, really. They’re not something that I see on the menu and scream for, banging my fists on the table until they’re presented for me to rapidly inhale and then collapse in a satisfied, beany coma. Beans are not really my thing. Apparently, the good people of Piacenza take a different approach, and it’s winning. At Via Emilia, a new Italian restaurant serving up one dish from each main city of the Emilia-Romagna region, I’m served Pisarei e Faso’ – tiny, utterly delicious gnocchi that I’m pretty sure have been cooked individually, so perfect their consistency – and yes, there’s beans there too, and I can’t get enough. The turte veird a l’arsana (ravioli) and tajadlen ‘ni al pramzan e pep (their take on the now ubiquitous cacio e pepe) are both excellent as well, as was the starter – their speciality, the gnocco fritto – a kind of pillow of fried pastry, with a selection of cured meats. With a glass of fizzy red wine, another speciality of the region, it made for a great lunch, and although a lot of it was new to me, the quality shone through.