He’s almost as well-known as some of his celebrity clients, but Giorgio Locatelli continues to earn his stripes as one of London’s top Italian chefs. ‘It’s all down to the ingredients’, insists one fan, and there’s no arguing with the sheer culinary refinement on the plate. You can’t go wrong with starters of char-grilled quail on a liver crostino with apple balsamic dressing, or terrific hand-crafted pasta – perhaps tagliatelle with kid ragù and chilli or tortellini in brodo broth. After that, an elegant take on veal saltimbocca with baked aubergine, Parmesan and girolles might be followed by Sicilian cannoli. This is high-end Italian food, ‘done by a master’ and served in a comfortably neutral dining room by an accomplished front-of-house team. The Italian wine list has real stature, too, although reasonable prices by the glass ensure easy access.
As expected, a roll call of some of Italy’s best producers, Locanda Locatelli has built real buying power in this deeply patriotic list. You can sample big hitters from the likes of Gaja or Antinori, but those in the know prefer to explore the many boutique labels on offer instead.
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