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Angela Hartnett has been busy of late, setting up Merchant’s Tavern in the City and launching sibling Café Murano, while keeping her very own Michelin-starred domain at the top of its game: ‘the
best meal of the year’, proclaimed one reader. Her kitchen works wonders with pasta, adding real oomph to the likes of pheasant agnolotti with shallot purée and rosemary, but there’s ‘gusto’ and
refined brilliance across the board – from octopus (‘straight out of the water’) with a salad of Romano peppers, sourdough and romesco dressing to ‘melting’ roasted sweetbreads with apple purée and
roasted walnuts. Sea bass is transformed into a luxe plateful with oysters, smoked potato and yoghurt, while desserts such as chestnut cream with blood orange and meringue are seasonal heaven.
Sculpted chandeliers, arty frescoed panels and exclusive Murano glassware give the beige-tinted room a ‘hushed’ urbane vibe, with well-tutored, immensely helpful staff on hand to guide diners
through the organically inclined, terroir-led wine list.
We arrived at a very empty Murano with just a few other diners in the restaurant and the decision to have no music in the background left the atmosphere feeling a little flat to begin with. Luckily there was plenty to look at as the restaurant is absolutely stunning and exudes wealth, some serious money... More from samphire and salsify »
The latest Gordon Ramsay protégé to go it alone, Angela Hartnett chose to purchase her restaurant Murano from her former employers, rather than open up elsewhere. A long-standing association with Ramsay started way back at Aubergine in Chelsea. She played a key role in many of his openings, including her self-named restaurant at The Connaught, which launched in 2002 and netted a Michelin star in 2004, before closing in 2007, the same year that she was awarded an MBE. After 18 months away from the stove, Hartnett returned in the autumn of 2008 with two new ventures under the Gordon Ramsay Holdings umbrella. She took on the role of executive chef at fine-dining Murano in Mayfair (which scooped a Michelin star in 2009) & the more informal eatery at boutique hotel York & Albany in Camden, which remains with Gordon Ramsay Holdings following her departure from the company.