La Smorfia stays true to it’s Neapolitan roots with classic, home style cooking, generous portions at inexpensive prices, and an inviting atmosphere.
The name La Smorfia comes from the Neapolitan tradition of interpreting dreams by associating them with numbers and then betting those numbers in the lottery, and whilst the interior here doesn't suggest their number's have come up, it's cosy, and seats about thirty people comfortably. Décor is rustic simplicity at it’s finest with white painted walls decorated with prints of famous Italian actors and comedians, dim recessed lighting and plain marble tables. As you dine you are warmed by the heat of the pizza oven and entertained by the pizza chef as he expertly tosses the dough in the air. There are a few tables outside for al fresco dining.
If you are looking for an authentic Italian dining experience, then look no further - you really feel as if you have been invited to dinner at a relative’s house in southern Italy. The owner chats with customers, offers explanations on menu items, gives suggestions and even takes your orders. In true Italian style, the chef, Paolo, breaks away from his busy kitchen to ensure that everyone is enjoying their meal with his warm, charismatic, and friendly personality.
La Smorfia’s menu is based on simple, fresh ingredients that make the dishes uncomplicated, yet very satisfying. All the pasta, bread, and cakes are made in house every day, and daily specials are posted on the wall your consideration. Bruschetta is light and appetising with diced juicy tomatoes atop fresh crusty bread, and is great when drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Insalata di mozzarella di bufala is another delicious starter of sliced, vibrant, tomatoes, creamy and delicate buffalo mozzarella, sliced avocado, and marinated olives. Melanzane parmigiana is heaven on a plate. Thinly sliced aubergine is lightly flowered and fried, then layered with mozzarella cheese and fresh tomato sauce.
For a vegetarian main course, linguine asparagi (£8) is a masterpiece. With homemade linguine (cooked al dente), tender asparagus, and a rich but light cream sauce, you certainly won't miss the meat.
The pizza cafone (£9.90) is an individual thin crust pizza topped with mozzarella cheese, prosciutto di Parma, salame, roasted yellow and green peppers, and egg. Though this sounds like a lot of toppings, all these flavours magically blend well and complement each other fantastically.
For dessert the choices are endless with chocolate truffles, tiramisu, an Italian apple pie, almond torte, and chocolate/orange torte just to name a few. And the best thing? You can sample little bites of all of them.
As expected, there is a selection of moderately priced reds, whites, and rose wines to go with your meal. Or you can pair your pizza with a refreshing Peroni (Italian beer). There also are soft drinks, coffees and of course limoncello (lemon flavoured liquor) that is very good indeed.
The Last Word
La Smorfia enables you to experience the true passion for food and hospitality that you can only find in the heart of Italy... or North West London, it appears.