Business of the week: Osteria Ovada

Owner of Osteria Ovada Paolo Cometa (right) with his chef Giovanni Bunocosta (left) and a table of a

Owner of Osteria Ovada Paolo Cometa (right) with his chef Giovanni Bunocosta (left) and a table of antipasti - Credit: Harry Taylor

In a new weekly feature, we speak to the people behind some of Hampstead and Highgate’s best small businesses. This week, we visited Paolo Cometa’s authentic Italian eatery Osteria Ovada.

Stepping into Paolo Cometa’s restaurant in Rosemont Road is like stepping into a Italian backstreet in Rome, rather than a discreet eatery seconds from the roaring Finchley Road.

Osteria Ovada re-opened five weeks ago after an extensive refurbishment, and new staff being brought in.

“We had one 18-year-old, and one 79-year-old, and I couldn’t run it myself all the time,” said Paolo, 66.

The restaurateur, originally from Palermo in Sicily, also owns a restaurant in Notting Hill Gate. The rustic decor and good food reflect two of his passions; cooking and antiques. “We did it up as we went along,” he said. “I love cooking at home in Highbury, and in Italy I have an industrial kitchen because I enjoy it so much.”

As well as handmade pasta, Paolo serves wine from his own vineyard in Piedmont alongside meals, for a more authentic experience.

The restaurant is open six days a week, with hours varying. Diners are advised to book in advance: 020 7435 8080.

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