My mom often says that there is a thin line between love and hate, which is true for (some) people like Gwyneth Paltrow or the moon-that-was (though if I were to compare him to a celestial body now, I'd got for a black hole), and of course green vegetables such as asparagus or artichokes. Firstly because I only ever indulge in roasted asparagus and marinated artichokes, in the same way I applaud Gwyneth's good looks but loathe everything she represents as a byproduct of the muddled thing we call beauty.
Same goes for Italy.
Yes, the country. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some things about Italy I would definitely not recommend: sitting across a hormonal teenager in the Circumvesuviana line while flaunting a budding cleavage; Silvio Berlusconi; or even, for that matter, the most densely populated volcanic region in the world. But, yeah, I mean, you know, Italy does have Tuscany. And spaghetti alla carbonara. And Moscato d'Asti wine. And calzone. And Parmigiano-Reggiano. And risotto. And arancini. I think you got my point: as the most French Frenchwoman ever to have Frenched, finding my "little Italian restaurant" is third on my list of priorities when crashing through someplace new (after locating the nearest charity shop and nearest wine bar). The UK, obviously, was no exception.
I don't know if I'm getting there, but I sure as hell have not come across such a hearty, simple and straightforward place like that in a very long time. Lo and behold, minions, La Cosa Nostra, a brisk ten-minute walk from St Albans station. I, for one, loved it. The only criteria I deem valid for an Italian restaurant is simplicity, that lovely unpretentious flair one only finds in the very best. La Cosa Nostra was spot on.
|Simple starter pizza: olive oil and tomato sauce.|
|Back to basics: a lovely dish of spaghetti alla carbonara, because there's nothing like nummy carbs lathered in egg yolk.|
|Spaghetti alla bolognese, dubbed a "bold and adventurous choice" by my colleague Kristen. That man lives dangerously.|
La Cosa Nostra
62, Lattimore Road
017 2783 2658