Bringing contemporary, authentic Italian cuisine to the heart of N16, Wolf is one of the newer up-and-coming restaurants attempting to lure East Londoners away from Stoke Newington Church Street – a popular destination for bars and restaurants – to the main High Street, alongside other recent additions like Wander and Zona. Head chef Karla Knowles dishes up hearty fare with a nod to seasonal and regional Italian influences, often made with locally sourced ingredients – you only have to look at the bottles of homemade spirits lining the bar to see the team’s pride in their offering.
It’s an appropriately cold, dark December night when we arrive at Wolf to sample the new winter menu. The décor is lovely, all leafy plants, brass fixtures and deep indigo tones, with many a cosy nook for an intimate dinner. The restaurant seems unusually quiet for midweek, which is a shame, as it’s the kind of space that must be wonderful with a bit of buzz. We are warmly welcomed by Rah, whose sommelier background is evident when it comes to his expert advice on wine. To kick off though, it’s cocktails – a sweet gin concoction for him and a great chilli-infused rum for me.