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Ever-serene Latium is now into its 10th year as a determinedly traditional Italian a stone's throw from Oxford Street. Its ethos seems charmingly old fashioned in a neighbourhood prone to fits of
foodie faddishness – deferential service, linen-clad tables and abstract pictures of Venetian gondolas all chime perfectly with the smartly turned-out food emanating from a well-drilled kitchen.
Pride of place goes to chef/patron Maurizio Morelli's signature ravioli menu – anything from pumpkin with butter and sage to a richly sauced lemon and ricotta version. Elsewhere, expect delicately
textured dishes from right across Italy – antipasti of poached octopus with stewed Umbrian lentils and sautéed escarole leaves, or monkfish wrapped in buffalo mozzarella with a San Marzano tomato
and prawn sauce. The wine list is as resolutely Italian as the steaming espresso machine at the bar.
I decided to start the year with a beautiful meal with my favourite neighbour. We went on the first Monday of the year, earlier on we had a nice cocktail over the road, at The Sanderson. We arrived at Latium quite early, in fact we were the first ones to arrive. The deco is just okay, inoffensive, it's not going to win any interiors awards anytime soon. The table setting and the crockery were pristine and proper, the way I like it and the service was friendly and pleasant. Mauricio Morelli, the chef patron came to meet and greet us at our table, I've met him previously at their birthday party. Mauricio suggested the menu and we were happy with his suggestions. The menu is quite extensive and everything sounded delicious. We started with a glass of prosecco, olives, ricotta, a small dipping dish filled with the delightful Latium olive oil, and selection of Italian breads including carasau, which I love!...
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