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|Address:||39 Chepstow Place, London W2 4TS|
|Tel:||020 7792 9033|
|Price: £63.00||Wine: £23.95||Champagne: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12.30-2.30pm (Sat 1pm- ) Mon-Sat 7.30-11pm|
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Last time my wife and I visited Assaggi, it was winter, dark and calm. This time, the weather in the evening was glorious and the place was HEAVING; it was a challenge to hold a conversation. The bare walls did not help in that regard. The welcome was very warm and I found the over the top familiarity of the person who seemed to be in charge quite amusing – but had I been with people I knew less well, it would have been a different story. In fact, the service was good overall. The food merely correct. I had an enjoyable burratta wrapped with a slice of grilled aubergine – simple and almost impossible to get wrong. My main course was a pasta with crab meat and a side salad. Again, hard to fault but hardly a cullinary challenge. One of our party left half “her” liver, though my wife enjoyed her plain grilled sea bass – again, hardly a challenge (see a pattern emerging here ?). The first decent red on the menu was a Planeta at £38, which must be a heady mark-up… the whites are better value but in my view miss out on some of the better Italian choices (from the North of Italy). We had no desserts and only a couple of mint teas. We were in good company and had a fun evening once the place quietened down a little (in volume). We enjoyed the interaction with the servers but having thought about it quite hard, I am driven to the conclusion that the food was no better than a lot of other Italian restaurants offer (which is, of course good), but at £50 per head (one bottle of one of the house whites, no pre-dinner drinks or bottled water)… sorry, but something's lacking.