2010 felt like the year of the Italian restaurant in London, with more openings than you could shake a grissini stick at. As a result, it has been hard for old-stagers such as No 5 to keep the punters interested – although this ‘one-stop shop for a night out’ does have the virtue of an elegant, members’ club location, an outdoor terrace with views of Cavendish Square & free entry to the nightspot downstairs. The decor may once have been modish, but a visual assault of red leather chairs & felt banquettes now seems OTT & far too glamorous for the neighbourhood trattoria food on offer. Dishes such as gnocchi with tomato & ricotta, calf’s liver with grilled polenta or duck breast with grilled vegetables & balsamic vinegar are hardly likely to get the pulse racing. The cocktail bar downstairs is a hotter ticket, with its smart looks & matching mixology.
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