Following a change of ownership, this smartly appointed Mayfair Italian is now courting the popular vote by offering a mainstream menu of trattoria standards leavened with a few unchallenging regional specialities. Bresaola, vitello tonnato, grilled octopus salad and other antipasti give way to assorted pastas (spaghetti with crab meat and sweet chilli, say) and a handful of mains ranging from spicy spatchcock poussin or veal milanese to pan-fried cod fillet with lentils and parsley. After that, familiar desserts such as tiramisu beckon, along with sorbets and ice creams. A keenly priced Saturday lunch menu (£19.50/22.50 for two/three courses) should please weekend shoppers looking for a bargain just off Oxford Street. Some early reports suggest the new regime is still finding its feet, but hopefully gold-frescoed Semplice will be back in top gear soon.
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