SquareMeal Review of Cecconi's Mayfair
“The canteen of many a local”, Cecconi’s is every bit as slick as that reader description suggests, given that the locale in question is the Mayfair of fund managers and gallery owners.
Expect “a wonderful welcome” (staff will do their best to accommodate you if you arrive without a booking) and a “great buzz” (the people-watching is “wonderful”), whether you turn up for an Anglo-Italian breakfast, weekend brunch before a show at the Royal Academy over the road or an evening blowout dripping with more glamour than the jewellers on neighbouring Bond Street.
Simple, “easy-to-eat” Italian food is the order of the day: tangy cacio e pepe or subtle vitello tonnato might be followed by a gigantic veal milanese and profiteroles drowned in a hot sauce that melts the pistachio ice cream within the pastry. It’s retro to be sure (the food of fondly remembered parties), but it’s rarely anything short of “delicious”.
But while the cooking may be relatively straightforward, complex hierarchies are involved in the seating plan – secure a table at one of the discreet emerald-green velvet banquettes and you know you’ve made it in life. Show-offs, meanwhile, might prefer a window seat where they can bask in the envious glances of passers-by – especially when the frontage is open to the street in summer.
The really chic thing to do, however, is to turn your back on the whole scene, bag a stool at the bar and nibble on cicchetti while knocking back Prosecco by the glass. As they say in Italy, la vita e bella!
About Cecconi's Mayfair
Located just away from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus, Cecconi’s is a modern but classic Italian restaurant which focuses on using the finest ingredients to create dishes that you can’t help but love. At Cecconi’s the service and ambience is just as important as the food and adds to the real sense of occasion when you eat there.
The outside of the Burlington Gardens restaurant looks old-school smart from the moment you approach it, with large windows allowing you to see into the smart dining room. The interior of the restaurant continues the feeling of traditional fine dining with white tables cloths covering every table, mirror-covered walls, and a large dark wood bar in the centre of the room; servers wear classic black and white uniforms.
When it comes to the food menu, you can expect everything from Italian dishes you will have tasted often, to more decadent plates of food. The all-day menu begins with cicchetti such as meatballs with tomato sauce, and whipped ricotta with truffle honey and crostini. In terms of starters you might go for Cornish crab with avocado and lemon, or there is of course a classic burrata on offer too. There is also a selection of raw meats available such as tuna tartare, as well as a plant-based section which includes grilled cauliflower with salsa verde.
Appealing pasta dishes vary from a tagliatelle bolognaise to casarecce with wild boar. Whereas other main courses option include dishes such as fish stew and veal Milanese. If you still have any room, desserts range from tiramisu to crème caramel. As well as the all-day menu, Cecconi’s also offer a breakfast menu full of brilliant Clarence Court egg dishes.
Drink-wise, there is of course a wine list covering many different regions with bottles, glasses, and half bottles available, and also a great selection of cocktails to pick from.