Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
|Address:||87 Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8PH|
|Tel:||020 7730 3663|
|Price: £44.00||Wine: £15.50||Champagne: £55.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 6.30-10.30pm|
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
I've always liked Giorgio Locatelli. Not for his tousle haired good looks or even for his cooking. No, I have fond memories of dinner at his place with Gwyneth Paltrow. Well, she was at the next table but, if my mate Bob can claim to have slept with Eva Herzigova as he was in the next seat to her on a night flight, then I've had dinner with Gwyneth.
Alas, no Gwyneth or Eva here when we went, but given how dark the room is, it is possible that they were hiding in a corner somewhere and I didn’t spot them. Whilst not what you’d call gloomy, the room is really dark, so that reading the menu can be a bit of a challenge. So too it seems is the concept of a gin and tonic – the gin was brought swiftly enough, but the tonic not.
Through the dark you can see a longish room with tables down either side, together with a few scattered along between, all taken. We were sat in one of the middle tables and, as there were three of us, we spread out around it so that we could all talk to each other easily. This was not appreciated by the disdainful head honcho, and we were asked to move in more so that the waiters could get past us. What? Why have the middle tables if they don’t fit? Yes, get the covers through, but then don’t force people to be uncomfortable in their seating. Put three people on a four person table, or lose the table that doesn’t fit. Don’t make people feel awkward when all they want to do is sit, chat and eat.
That said, the actual service is generally pretty good; friendly, helpful and not obtrusive. We may have had a 7.30 booking, but there was no hint of being rushed out the door to allow the next sitting to get through.
As one of our number had chosen the risotto as a first course, we were told that there would be a twenty minute wait. A good sign, and a chance to take in something deep fried: some squid and some lovely prawns, crunchy with a soft centre. A very good start.
The risotto too went down well, as did the hare ragu (on “homemade” pasta ribbons; what, as opposed to being made in the kitchen at the restaurant? Did one of the staff bring them in, hand rolled by mama?), which was a rich, slow cooked delight. The only slight letdown was the pumpkin ravioli: nice enough, but a bit watery, and nowhere near the standard of the beautiful such dish I had a few weeks ago at Massimo. OK, that one was five times the price, due to the tiny sliver of truffle atop it, but the richness of the pumpkin was somehow lacking here. Not five times lacking mind.
Mains too were splendid – my brace of spatchcocked quails was terrific, with some very nice cabbage and pancetta. And some fried courgette, as one course of fried just wasn’t enough. The veal kidney and the venison were also top notch, again, the kidney fairly rich and maybe too rich to follow the hare, but a lovely dish nonetheless.
The wine list is a serious march through the best Italy has to offer, at all price points, with many good examples at the lower reaches, as well as the trophy wines for the expense account brigade to brag about.
All in all, a really nice place: fine service, lovely food and a pleasant atmosphere. Just the sort of relaxed place that Italy does so well; if only the head guy could relax a bit too, it would be even better.