What's the draw
Something is afoot in the East Village area that connects Hackney Wick with Stratford, and its latest addition, a trattoria from the brains behind Soho's Mele e Pere vermouth bar, is a perfect pit-stop along the canal.
What to drink
At Gotto, you're having one of two cocktails, and you're bloody well liking them. The menu offers a negroni or a spritz, both made by the company's team of blenders, led by Ed Scothern at Mele. Rather than the plethora of gins, vermouths and amari available at Mele, you're trusting Gotto with making you the perfect serve. The negroni arrives at your table pre-bottled, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a more well-balanced and characterful negroni anywhere in London. Meanwhile, there's a few decent Italian wines available, refreshingly all available by the glass, carafe or bottle.
What to eat
This is the perfect setting for perusing the menu, ordering plates of sharing plates and snacking till you're full (then snacking some more). Food is unfussy and universally delicious. Fritto misto comes as butter-soft squid in batter with two succulent whole fried fishes atop it; salty and endlessly moreish bombette pugliese – unctuous parcels of smoked pancetta and pork, with a streak of cacio cheese sauce that coats each morsel and cuts through it with a punch of tangy flavour. If you want to get really rustic with it, grab the saddle of rabbit, simply braised in stock and served with aubergine, tomatoes and olives – exactly our kind of gloriously unrefined Puglian food.
Canalside, Here East, 27 East Bay Lane, E15 2GW; gotto.co.uk