Street & Conversation with…Daniele Pino at La Nonna

Born in the outskirts of Rome, Dani formed La Nonna to bring carefully executed, refreshed versions of much-loved Roman pasta dishes to the fast movers of London. Championing the depths of his culinary heritage, La Nonna is his expression of years of perfecting the Italian cooking style, shaped by the flavours and recipes of his grandmother’s Roman kitchen.  

Describe London in three words

Fast-paced. “Foodcentric”. Buzzing.   

What’s your favourite secret place in London?

The cocktail bar Nightjar in Shoreditch. It is a speakeasy in Old Street and everyone inside is dressed like the 70s – really old-school, really cool. It is inside a little arch where no one can see you, it is very secret. They also do every single cocktail in the book! And the vessels they are served in are super interesting. Different every time.   

What’s your favourite place to eat out?

I actually don’t have a favourite place in London as I don’t tend to go in the same restaurant more than once. I like to try everything London has to offer – as the cuisine is so diverse, and there are so many options! Four or five years ago I would have immediately said a Michelin-starred restaurant. But now, I try everything. Perhaps The Wolseley if I wanted to go to a high-end establishment.   

What’s your favourite London building?

The Sky Garden. It is so cool. It is really incredible to see.   

What’s the best place for a date in London?

I actually did a trial at a restaurant that was considered the most romantic in the UK. It is Clos Maggiore in Covent Garden and it is so romantic. There are so many flowers inside, it is really cool. Even though it has an Italian name, the food is French. It is really cool.   

East, West, North or South? And why?

South, for sure. As I have always lived here and I love it. It is super special, so many hidden things to see and try. Really great community-feel. If not South, I would definitely pick East. But I haven’t explored there nearly enough.