Cecconi (August 2012)

If you fancy a spot of informal glamour and are unable to make it over to the likes of Milan, then Cecconi's hits the spot. There is very much a sense of those comfortable with their money here and the people watching is among the best in London. While all this may undoubtedly be true, the reason why people (including this reviewer) keep returning again and again is that it is very hard to fault what Cecconi does. The whole operation is slick and runs both smoothly and effortlessly day and night. Staff are friendly and efficient, swift and attentive. The ability to mix and match from snacks to mains allows for a diverse variety of combinations and one is rarely disappointed. On this occasion, delicate quail eggs were perfectly balanced by a tuna and caper sauce (from the cichetti menu), while crab ravioli to follow was cooked to perfection with the crab finely balanced by fresh tomatoes. My dining comrade enjoyed meatballs (also from the cichetti listings) and a salad, again prepared faultlessly. Importantly, despite the restaurant being busy, we were allowed more than ample to sit and talk at our table once the plates had been cleared away, a very welcome approach in what is justifiably always a busy restaurant.