34 Highgate Hill, London, N19 5NL, United Kingdom

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Fabrizio is a family-run Italian restaurant on Highgate Hill, which opened in 2008. Set in a parade of shops, the dining room is long and narrow, with a few pictures on the wall, wooden floors and no tablecloths. Pizzas are sold by the metre, but there are also a range of Italian dishes on the menu, and a few specials of the day on a blackboard. The chef is from Naples, and moved directly here from cooking in the south of Italy.

The short wine list was all Italian and mostly omitted the vintages, the list starting at £12.75. Examples include Ai Galli Pinot Grigio at £22.50 for a wine that retails at around £7, with Burlotto Barolo 2008 at £50 for a wine that you can find for around £36 in a shop.

Mixed starters (£8) comprised deep-fried courgettes, arancini and bruschetta. The tomatoes in the bruschetta had more flavour than many, the rice balls were fine, and the courgettes were lightly cooked (12/20). A four-seasons pizza (£7.20) had a good bread base and pleasant toppings (12/20). Fresh pasta (£14.50) made from scratch had nice texture, served with a classic ragu of wild boar and mushrooms. The sauce could have had greater intensity of flavour, the meat being a little too firm in texture, but this was a hearty and pleasant dish (12/20). Tiramisu (£3.95) was very short on coffee flavour, although its texture was acceptable (11/20).

The bill came to £47 a head, but that was with one of the better wines on the list. With a modest bottle of wine, a more typical bill would be under £40 a head. The staff were very welcoming, the manager garrulous and rather charming. This is nothing more than a good neighbourhood restaurant, but one that I would be happy to return to if I lived nearby.


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