Onima carries a conceit like few other restaurants I have come across. A quick look at the website and you are asked to ‘experience, imagine, believe, feel and shine.’ Precisely what, it may be justifiable ask? Per the Onima blurb, the guiding premise is bringing Mykonos to Mayfair. ..
London institutions do not come much better than Bar Italia. A stalwart on Soho’s Frith Street for 70 years, it was the first place in the area to make proper coffee – the Italian way – and it stayed open all night. Many a memorable evening in my past ended there. The aspiring family behind the venture did not, however, rest on its laurels and opened a restaurant next door in the 1990s. That both have remained constants amidst the ongoing reinvention of Soho is testament to their success as well as a reflection of the Polledri family’s ongoing involvement. The passion they bring to Little Italy is abundantly obvious. This is a highly professional venture with top-notch cooking but contains a strongly personal touch too.
Say Harry’s Bar to most foodies or well-travelled tourists and the immediate response would be ‘Venice.’ Such is its fame that the Italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs declared the Venetian venue a national landmark in 2001. Part of going to Venice is saying you’ve been there, but now you don’t even need to. For a pleasingly authentic experience with significantly fewer tourists and a much more reasonably priced menu, central London now has an outpost of Harry’s.
The Frescobaldi’s have a long and glorious history, stretching back over 700 years. Throughout wars, changes in government and more, the family has continued to thrive, growing food and making wine in Tuscany. Their first restaurant offering opened in London in 2014. That it has survived 4 years is an achievement…
A regular reviewer of restaurants always hopes to discover the next new thing, so imagine my excitement on learning that I would be dining at Isolabella. Per its website, the venue is one of London’s “top Italian restaurants.” A bold claim, to say the least…
L P Hartley’s famous line seems an appropriate way in which to describe The Red Pepper. Time does funny things to one’s memory and, of course, we all grow up, but put simply, a recent visit to this restaurant showed demonstrably that in the past, “they do [did] things differently.” We left feeling underwhelmed …
Four years may have passed since my last visit to C London, but it seems little has changed: here, we are definitively in the world of moneyed Mayfair where the well-heeled and wannabee celebrities still come to dine. The food is excellent; the service somewhat less so. For mere mortals, prices remain eye-watering and undoubtedly better value (and experiences) can be found elsewhere
There is no shortage of high-end Italian restaurants in London, but Belgravia's Olivomare has never disappointed on the multiple times when I have visited. Last week, on a Friday lunchtime was no different.
Like the cliché about buses, it had been nine months since I had last visited Cecconi and yet coincidence led to me making two visits within 72 hours. Both a lunch and a breakfast visit here confirmed to me why Cecconi remains one of the best restaurants in London: its coolness is effortless and so visiting here is always enjoyable; regardless of what else may be on-trend in London, Cecconi remains timeless.
In the debate about what may be the best formal Italian restaurant in London, I have consistently made the case for Locanda Locatelli. It was therefore highly pleasing to revisit it for the first time in three years (during which time the décor has received a minor makeover) and find that the very high standards for which Locanda is duly renowned are showing no signs of slipping.
It is a bold claim for any restaurant to make suggesting that it provides an ‘unforgettable dining experience’, and all the more so if you have also been voted London’s ‘most romantic’ restaurant. Such is the standard that Clos Maggiore is forced to live up to.
For any restaurant to call itself ‘the soul’ (the translation of L’Anima) is a bold claim, particularly when accepting the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of this as being the ‘principle of life in man or animals.’
Londoners do not have to look far to find high-end Italians, particularly in swanky Mayfair. Nonetheless, a newish restaurant fronted by a chef with two Michelin stars under his belt in his native Italy deserves a visit.
Think Mayfair and think high-end Italian and the likes of C-London (in my opinion, terrible) or Cecconi (excellent) come to mind. Despite Babbo being owned by a football lawyer, the restaurant is about as far from bling and razzmatazz as one could find.
Expectations inevitably run pretty high for a restaurant that has a celebrity chef with a Michelin star and remains one of the hardest to get a table in, despite having been open for close to twelve years.
A Little Venice institution, the Red Pepper has been delivering consistently good food in the fifteen years I have been visiting the restaurant. While there have been several changes in both management (the current team, led by the charismatic Lara, is a definite success) and décor, the basic formula has remained unaltered.
Clearly C-London must be doing something right since the place was packed on the weekday lunchtime when I recently visited the restaurant. Maybe it’s just that people still want to be seen here, but even if C-London was in the vanguard of ‘destination restaurants’ some years ago, it seems difficult to believe that it has been able to sustain this mantle.
Most people are aware that St James is a pretty posh part of London, and so to know of a well-priced restaurant that serves reliably good and consistent food in this area is a definite find.
That it is almost impossible to get a table at Booca di Lupo almost five years after it first opened is the truest testament to its success.
If first impressions count, then things were not encouraging at Olivomare. Fortunately, however, the experience got markedly better and the food was indeed superb and a return visit justified.