Italian Restaurants in London
Mediterranean restaurant in Kensington and Chelsea
209 Westbourne Park Road - W11
“Absolutely the best new restaurant in the past year or so” – the Roux dynasty have come up trumps with this “great newbie in the Notting Hill ’hood”, on the site of Bumpkin (RIP). It’s the brainchild of Michel Roux’s daughter Emily Roux and her husband Diego Ferrari (former head chef at Le Gavroche). “Just around the corner from The Ledbury, but half the price and less formal” – it provides a “fabulous all-round experience”, founded on “outstanding” and “creative” cooking “born out of two great cuisines: French and Italian”. (However, “the unusual menu layout does take a moment to puzzle out”, with headings like Curious, Subtle and Greedy). “Impeccable service” and the “very comfortable” space, decorated with “quirky touches” complete the experience. Top Tip – “don’t miss the celeriac ‘cacio e pepe’”.
. E Pellicci
Italian restaurant in Bethnal Green
332 Bethnal Green Rd - E2
“You don’t come here for the food: the welcome and the banter are the main attraction!”, say fans of the Nevio family’s “buzzy” (but hipster-free) Bethnal Green greasy spoon, which is a top choice for a “simple breakfast”. Architecture anoraks will also want to examine its (listed) Art Deco interior (often used as a location for TV).
Italian restaurant in Covent Garden
39 William IV Street - WC2N
“Superbly-flavourful” pasta dishes at “extremely good-value” prices – especially for the West End – make Louis Korovilas’s “handy” yearling “one of the better options in the tourist centre” of town, just off Trafalgar Square. Some reporters feel it’s “let down by the long, narrow shape of the restaurant”, but more commonly it’s judged an “elegant, buzzing, if packed space”.
Italian restaurant in Mayfair
20-22 Queen St - W1
With its “understated” style, Angela Hartnett’s “elegant-but-relaxed” HQ manages to be one of the most personal of the “luxury” central London restaurants run by a big name, particularly one in Mayfair. Under head chef, Oscar Holgado, the accomplished modern cuisine “with an Italian twist” is “first class”, as is the wine list: incredibly consistent and, “if not cheap, not wildly expensive”. But it’s the “professional service with a smile” that sets the seal on the experience: “warm, welcoming, and less pushy than at some other top destinations”. “I’d just returned from Rome and was worried I’d be disappointed, but in fact it topped things off with a level of refined luxury I enjoyed very much”.
. Bocca di Lupo
Italian restaurant in Soho
12 Archer St - W1
“Italian peasant-food fit for a king” – Jacob Kenedy’s “exceptional and distinctive” fixture, a short stroll from Piccadilly Circus, has carved a massive foodie following with its “wonderfully eclectic and ever-changing range of traditional dishes from across the country” (categorised by region, and available in ‘small’ or ‘large sizes’), with the “exciting” results “so simple and delicious you cannot believe it”. “And they’re complemented by a staggering wine list” which “is itself a trip through Italy” (“it’s worth having a detailed conversation with the wine waiter to discover outstanding vintages at sensible prices” with “lots of interesting options by the glass”). “Unsurprisingly, the place is always jammed”, and the “busy, café-style” interior with “closely packed tables” is such that “while mostly delightful, it’s bloody noisy” (“if not slightly manic”). But the “efficient and friendly staff” help keep the mood upbeat. Some guests “prefer the counter” – “there’s great kitchen theatre perched on the bar stools”.
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