Okay, the name may be difficult to recall (or even say for that matter), but the little Italian wine bar on the corner of Westbourne Grove and Portobello Road, in Notting Hill, is definitely worth remembering.
Negozio Classica stands out with its inviting red exterior. From the road, you can see the warm wine bar full of young couples and groups, caught up in romantic and intense conversations around tables full of wine and small plates. They are relaxed and cozy, as if they’re in their own homes, solving the world’s problems over nice bottles of red and plates of cheese. The place actually feels like a living room. There’s even a floor lamp for lighting, which I cannot recall ever seeing in any restaurant before. That lamp illuminates a framed map and some bookshelves, making the line between a public restaurant and a friend’s house very fuzzy.
The wine menu had a nice variety of types and prices. My husband enjoyed £17.00 glasses of Brunello and I got very drunk on £7.oo dry whites. That sentence basically sums us right up. But, anyway, the food menu was a little confusing at first. We were not sure if everything was to be considered small, sharing plates, or if there were in fact proper entrees. We chose to go the starter and separate entrees route, which worked just fine, but you could definitely go either way. The gorgonzola bruschetta was absolutely delicious. Whipped into a mousse with truffles and then swirled onto fresh bread, the dish was divine. We were worried that we didn’t order enough food, but ended up not finishing our steak salad and pasta dish. Which was unfortunate because they were both really fresh with outstanding flavors.
Overall, we had a great night at Negozio Classica. We will definitely head back for more wine, an impromptu lunch, or another weeknight dinner. I don’t know if it is where we would head for a full Saturday night dinner, since the menu is pretty limited and the atmosphere is casual, but by all means try it. The friendly staff will be ready to welcome you.
283 Westbourne Grove
London W11 2QA