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SAVINI AT CRITERION CLOSED PERMANENTLY IN JUNE 2018
The definition of elegance, this Grade II-listed neo-Byzantine beauty dates back to 1874 and offers fine Italian dining, at prices as high as the gold mosaic ceiling. The similarly opulent Savini restaurant in Milan dates back to 1867, making this venture a seemingly wise move following the Criterion Restaurant’s descent into administration in summer 2015. The dramatic room features a bar and lounge area, secluded grey booths, chandeliers and glittering marble pillars, soundtracked on our visit by slightly kitsch, old-fashioned Italian tunes and not much else: the room was almost empty (Savini was infamously without a phone line for four months after opening), sapping the atmosphere in such lofty surrounds. A lavish menu redresses the balance however, with not one bum note: pungent yet light artichoke risotto is drizzled with truffle sauce, crowned by carefully cooked pigeon breast; dense pappardelle ribbons are laced with the tang and pepper of wild boar ragu; a slab of foie gras tastes fresher and more vibrant than its appearance suggests, lifted by strands of candied lemon. All-Italian service is as friendly, knowledgeable and classy as this style of dining demands, while classic cocktails and a superb collection of wines offer similarly comprehensive support. Eye-wateringly high prices may also explain a lack of custom for a restaurant at the centre of London’s tourist hub. If the word gets out and London’s fine diners once again fill this historic space, Savini will be a stellar special occasion destination.
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 42m
Leicester Square Tube Station 372m
Piccadilly Circus 15m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 2
The restaurant obviously benefits from a great central location and a wonderful room . This was the first time I had been here when under new ownership. Under the previous owner it was somewhere to go for good food, reasonably priced away from the Piccadilly crowds.
However under the new ownership, the food and service does not live up to the room, decor or setting. The food was almost bland and a did not feel fresh. And was incredibly expensive. Service was a bit nonchalant. And the restaurant was almost empty with no atmosphere.
Food + drink: 5
This was some of the best food I have tasted, my dining partner enjoyed all 3 courses and the wine without finding any faults, which was a first. The menu seriously undersells itself. This will be a venue that will go straight to the top of my recommendations list if someone were to ask for one.
Food + drink: 3
Had wanted to try Criterion for ages and our wedding anniversary was the perfect excuse for a treat. On arrival we were made very welcome and sat in the bar area as we were early, had to wait ages for a waiter and in the end had to get our own drinks menus, whilst various staff stood nattering. Eventually the drinks waiter came so we ordered and got our drinks. We moved to our table which was a OK but right by the kitchen door so not the best, after perusing the menu for a while we both knew what we wanted but again took ages to get someone to come over and talk to us. After burning holes in the waitress with my eyes she eventually came over, and took our order but no apology for the lengthy wait. I had the beef Carpaccio to start which was good and the Peterhead Cod with Lobster, Sandfire and bisque which was excellent and Lemon Cheesecake to finish which was OK, My wife had the Asparagus and Halloumi for main which was good and the Chocolate Torte for dessert which was very disappointing, very stodgy. Felt a bit disappointed for the price.
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