Taking inspiration from the neighbourhood wine bars of Italy’s southern vales, No Mafia is a destination that attracts eaters and drinkers in equal measure. But most guests are here to do both.
Grape fanatics Emma Ferguson and Dan Morris (Balthazar) are behind the venture, so the deeply engaging wine list should come as little surprise. Varieties such as aglianico and nero d’Avola stays true to the bar’s Southern Italian theme, but the list also features contributions from around the country – ribolla gialla, the famous white grape of Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy’s north-east, for instance.
The rest of the cellar is given over to lo-fi wines made by local vignerons, more often than not out of traditional Italian varieties. The friendly and knowledgeable staff is on-hand to guide you through the drinks list, which also includes beers and Italian-style cocktails. Ask about the caffè corretto, a shot of espresso “corrected” with a slug of Campari.
The menu is all about versatility. Share-friendly plates in the vein of meatballs with sugo and pan-fried squid make great dinner fodder. The cheese, salumi and street-food sections (including bombetta – pork wrapped around cheese) are ideal for those chasing a snack.