SquareMeal Review of
An antique candlestick-style telephone mounted on a ‘wall’ marks the cunningly disguised portal to this hidden speakeasy. Salotto (Italian for sitting room) is located upstairs at The Italian Job, Notting Hill’s follow-up to the Chiswick craft-beer bar and kitchen. Inside, it resembles a dark, peeling Palermo parlour circa Rudolph Valentino. From the silvered baroque bar, presented in period-piece glassware, appealing drinks are served at old green baize-covered games tables and at slouchy leather seats by an open fire. The retro cocktails rely on old-school Italian pours such as iconic soda chinotto, bitters Isolabella and Bisleri Ferro-China, Fernet-Branca Menta, and Genepi (an alpine herbal liqueur). Star stirs include Immigrante, a heady Wild Turkey bourbon and peach liqueur Sour, and Massaua-Asmara (Opihr gin, absinthe and prickly pear liqueur), named after an Italian-built 1930s Eritrean cableway. Other Martinis reflect Italians’ obsession with bike racing (motor- and pedal-powered): cue Motovelodromo and Giro d’Italia.