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|Address:||5a Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3EP|
|Tel:||020 7434 1500|
|Price: £59.00||Wine: £25.00||Champagne: £35.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 7am-1am (Sat 8am- ) Sun 8am-12N|
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In a recent review in the Saturday Times, Giles Coren wrote how he has been trying to find a fault in Richard Caring and Nick Jones’s hospitality empire. Coren found it through over salted dumplings at one of their latest ventures, Dean Street Townhouse. Despite the fact that everywhere I seem to dine out or drink these days is owned by these two doyennes of the hospitality industry, I have still yet to find a downfall. Cecconi’s is no exception!
I have lost count the number of times that I have been to Cecconi’s, but I still have a desire to return over and over. Located behind the Royal Academy of Arts and next to that US clothes store that models half naked door men, Cecconi's been on the Mayfair food circuit for a number of years and was re launched by Nick Jones back in 2005. Despite what many say, Cecconi’s was the first London restaurant to offer the all day dining experience. This classy Italian somehow manages to transform itself from sophisticated breakfast venue in the morning to swanky Mayfair Italian in the evening. Nevertheless, one can walk in at any time of the day or night and take a pew at the large white marble bar and sip away at on the tap prosecco, now seen at every one of Caring / Jones venture, and sample the cichetti on offer.
Breakfast has a boutique hotel atmosphere about it, dominated by the hedge fund amd financial early risers over their power beakfasts who prefer the quieter surroundings than those experienced at The Wolseley but by mid morning it has a scattering of fashionistas sipping on their soya lattes. A full English with an Italian twist, eggs Benedict and porridge can all be chosen from the breakfast menu, which is available until midday on weekdays.
The lunch and dinner menu is where the real Italian fanfare comes in with beef carpaccio, lobster spaghetti, fresh truffle pasta and veal Milanese as just a few of the highlights on the menu. Cichetti is a house special, with the likes of quail eggs, Umbrian sausage, bruschetta…and if the choice is too hard just settle for the house selection.
The wine list, as expected and should be the case, is made up of powerful Brunello’s and Barolo’s but lighter wines such as Gavi di Gavi are there to cater for the lady PR executives and wedding planners and house white and red can be purchased for £18 a bottle, catering to all budgets.
Service is friendly and efficient. Giacomo Maccioni, the general manager, is a true professional and always gives the warmest welcome. The only downfall at Cecconi’s is the fact that you keep returning and never venture to other restaurants. To be fair though, wherever you are likely to venture, it is most likely to be owned by these two anyway.