Test Driving Canto Corvino - a gem of an Italian hidden in City backstreets

Test Driving Canto Corvino - a gem of an Italian hidden in City backstreets

What can you tell us about Canto Corvino?

This Italian restaurant comes from the same people behind Manicomio - a pair of Italian restaurants in The City and Chelsea. This latest restaurant is something of a departure, with as much of an emphasis on the cocktail bar as the restaurant, headed up by chef Tom Salt. And the food takes a more modern approach to Italian cooking. From the results we witnessed, that's a very good thing. 

Where is it?

It's in the backstreets of The City, on Artillery Lane opposite Liverpool Street Station (that's the nearest tube). That's the same street that the City Breakfast Club is on.

Where should I meet for a drink first?

If you fancy a quick pint, then we'd definitely recommend the Williams Ale and Cider House where we popped into for a beer beforehand. It's a good place to meet, but it's hard to say how crammed that would be on a normal City day (as opposed to during fairly quiet January). 

But if you want to dive straight in with a cocktail, then head to the separate bar at Canto Corvino.

As seems to be ever-inevitable, we went straight for the pinkest drink on the list, the Rambo (yes, there's definitely some irony in there). Based on that drink, the cocktails have a mighty punch and are well worth kicking the evening off with (or just continuing into the night with). You can also grab some of the sharing plates in the restaurant if you just fancy a little taste of the menu and some booze. 

And where should we sit?

If you're looking for the best table, we think it's the one for two on the right hand side of the kitchen counter - about as secluded as you're likely to get. Otherwise - anywhere looked decent - and we liked our spot by the window. 

What should we order?

Based on our trip - go for as much as you can eat/afford (and then a bit more). We'd heard good things about the food at Canto Corvino and it lived up to its billing as a truly wonderful Italian dinner - with the modern twists ensuring it's not overly familiar. There's a relatively short menu divided into snacks, cured fish and meat and your usual starters, mains and desserts. Only our post-Christmas extended bellies prevented us ordering more - but the standouts were:

  • From the snacks list, the lamb ribs with smoked aubergine and sesame were AMAZING - already the dish to beat in 2016. Taken off the bone, these were all melty goodness. We almost ordered another on the spot after downing these. Do not leave without trying this. 
  • Also on the snacks the gooiest red prawn, chilli and tomato arancini - a perfect bar snack
  • The beef short rib may not be the most original dish to order, but sometimes it's hard to resist it when seeing it on the menu. Matched with a layer of foie gras and autumn truffle on top, it's properly amazing.
  • And the salted chocolate delizia - with white chocolate sorbet and all manner of chocolate goodness - is the dessert to round it all off.

We missed ordering from the Josper (although the veal T Bone sounds intriguing) but frankly we'd happily pop back in any time just to grab more of those lamb ribs. 

What about drinks?

We've mentioned the cocktails already and the wine list centres solely around the regions of Italy. City prices are in evidence here - there's nothing under £25 and not much under £30 either, but whether you're sticking on budget or have a City account to spend, you'll need a little help if your knowledge of Italian wine is rusty. 

Anything else to know?

They do have a lovely sounding weekend brunch where eggs come to the fore (the fillet steak, fried egg, onions and mac n cheese brioche looks like the dish to have) and their mid-week breakfasts come recommended too. 


We had an undeniably excellent meal at Canto Corvino - loving every dish. We did go on a quiet Jan day but as the days get longer and the bar busier - this will be an ongoing hit for the area. Highly recommended.

Canto Corvino is at 21 Artillery Lane, Spitalfields, London E1 7HA. Find out more about Canto Corvino.