Enfield Expedition | All in good taste

Neil Littman has made it his mission to sample some of Enfield’s best restaurants as they try to get their business back

La Rocca at Green Lanes, Winchmore Hill, has been operating for 15 years

The past year has been a steep learning curve for all of us; we’ve learned to appreciate what we have on our doorstep and not take for granted the places we go out to eat and socialize.

While most of the restaurants and cafes around Winchmore Hill where I live have survived, a few established places have not, and several have had to adapt and change their offerings and be more flexible to meet demand. But home delivery doesn’t replace being there and soaking up the atmosphere of a restaurant dining experience.

Those in the borough who did not survive the pandemic include Beautiful South, in Windmill Hill, and Turkish restaurant Samdan Meze and Grill, in The Green. They will be missed. But, in entrepreneurship, new places have also opened up, and it will be interesting to see how successful they are and if they are successful. One thing I have learned from living in this neighborhood is that the residents are very loyal to the places they have chosen!

I love to experience an eclectic mix of places big and small, pubs and cafes, and even a few pop-ups – like a “caff” grease spoon I’ve been to recently that offered to new Asian dishes besides eggs and fries. and a cup of tea!

I have no special qualifications as a food writer other than wanting to attract people’s attention to these places. So with that in mind, on a break from work last month, I ate at La Rocca, a little slice of Italy that first landed at Winchmore Hill Broadway (Green Lanes) in 2006. Family Friendly , it has changed hands once since, but still remains authentically Italian.

I was told the interior was “imported directly from Florence” to keep the authentic look of their gelateria. It occupies a long space that can accommodate around 30 people and opens from morning until late afternoon. It’s a place to get away from it all and pretend to be on vacation in northern Italy. The atmosphere is enhanced by the conversations in Italian overheard in the corner of the restaurant where the owners gather.

Google’s description is a “pizzeria and pastry shop” which is a bit misleading since ice cream is one of their main offerings. They share a lot in common with Marine Ices at Chalk Farm, except they don’t have lineups around the block here. The ice cream is homemade and I don’t see anywhere else in the borough where you can have the same experience. It is also a very popular after school and family party spot.

The food menu is simple; panini, pasta, pizza. I have eaten here several times and the experience is familiar and authentic. The pizzas are large and typically Italian with thin crusts and traditional toppings. Prices range from £ 7 to £ 10. The pasta dishes are about the same price and they also serve risotto and chicken cutlets. La Rocca also sells a huge range of cakes, including cannoli, which I try to limit myself to buying about three times a year!

For more information on La Rocca, on 751 greenways, N21 3SA:

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