Italian restaurant Wolf launches new winter menu

Words by
Charlotte McManus

19th December 2017

Continuing Stoke Newington’s evolution as one of London’s hottest foodie spots, Wolf’s refreshingly modern dishes are not to be missed

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.

Wolf Interior
Wolf Interior

Wolf Interior

To the food. If there’s one thing for certain, visitors to Wolf won’t be leaving hungry. Portions are generous to say the least (often with a higher price tag to match – my guest voiced the opinion that the restaurant might do better to downsize on both counts). In true Italian style, the menu is divided into antipasti, pasta and secondi courses, followed by dessert. We try a bit of everything, though in hindsight – belt buckles bursting – we could have easily shared a single antipasto or primi, followed by a secondi apiece, and still been stuffed.

Barroccio Feather Blade
Barroccio Feather Blade

Barroccio Feather Blade

The wild mushroom gnocchetti is a delight, dripping in butter and parmesan, whilst the mammoth platter of baccala fritto (fried salted cod) is saved from being overly stodgy with a light batter and spiced tomato sauce. Thick ribbons of tagliatelle come topped with meaty nuggets of fennel sausage and an oozing egg yolk  – somewhat overseasoned but tasty nonetheless. For mains, though the huge blade of braised beef – served on creamy wet polenta with a tangy salsa verde – defeats both of us, a melt-in-the-mouth plaice is the hero dish of the meal, light as a feather on a bed of earthy lentils and cavolo nero. We (just) find room for a doorstop-sized slab of tiramisu, complete with orange zest undertones – we are told that the chef’s grandmother almost cried when she found out how her prized recipe had been tainted so, though we enjoyed it.

Baccala Fritto
Baccala Fritto

Baccala Fritto

Though there are a few kinks to iron out, on the whole Wolf is well worth the trip for unashamedly indulgent Italian fare in a stylish yet laidback setting. Next time, we avow, we must try the bottomless weekend brunch… 

 

Wolf’s winter menu is available now – visit wolf-restaurant.co.uk for more details