A sibling to Mayfair big-hitter Babbo, Fornata sits pretty at the end of Carnaby Street, tempting shoppers and young socialisers into a warmly lit, two-floor dining room that combines retro glass lampshades, rustic wood and sunny banquettes. Although the extensive menu jumps onto the sharing-plates bandwagon, its mix of mostly familiar Italian ‘tapas’ and trattoria-style dishes – from focaccia and arancini to lasagne and calzone – might be better suited to a more traditional format. Highlights have included a punchy, moreish sausage pizzetta, tender, flavoursome lamb chops with vibrant basil oil, and a seafood risotto bursting with soft scallops and meaty prawns. Fornata’s savvy owners have gone down the commercial route for maximum appeal, with charming Italian staff plus a soundtrack of upbeat pop songs underpinning the good vibrations.
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