Near the Apple Store, a contemporary Italian restaurant whose rather retro culinary style contributes to a style surprisingly redolent of ‘old Mayfair’; a useful enough place, it seemed to us to lack the distinction necessary to become a real ‘destination’.
ll praise to AA Gill! The Sunday Times’s columnist may be famous for not talking much about the restaurants, he notionally reviews, but his piece of this Mayfair newcomer – which happened to appear a couple of days after our own visit, but before we’d written our review – got the place absolutely right.
The journalistic problem, he opined at some length, is not this is a bad place, but rather that it’s “in the limbo of the 14/20” – “perfectly adequate”, but “lacking a certain inspirational panache”. Really couldn’t have put it better ourselves, so we won’t try.
Doubters may like to know that Gill is not actually forming our opinions for us. We had, by this point, written down the ‘marks’ for the dishes we had had, and these middling grades were all very much in line with a 14/20. The long menu is composed of competent Italian dishes, produced in a style – with dairy produce too much in evidence for some tastes – that borders on retro.
We’d also agree with Mr Gill that the room, hidden-away in a street of which no one had heard until very recently, is rather railway carriage-like (First Class, obviously) and tightly-packed.
Even worse, we’d have to nod in agreement with his proposition that the best thing about the establishment was the maître d’, who apparently used to front up Harry’s Bar.
Taken as a whole, this place is indeed rather like the celebrated club on the other side of Mayfair, but with food that’s not nearly as good, if admittedly much cheaper, and much less glamour.
So, there you have our opinion. We can only apologies that, for once, you read it in the Sunday Times first.