Diciannove at the Crowne Plaza Hotel

3 Reviews
££££
Italian

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SquareMeal Review of Diciannove at the Crowne Plaza Hotel

Some may remember when this spacious venue was Giorgio Locatelli’s Refettorio, but the “smart-casual” place now trades as Diciannove (literally ‘nineteen’), with a refurbished interior and a new ‘vineria’ occupying what was the unused bar area out front. Head chef Alessandro Bay is still at the helm and the menu offers a now familiar ingredients-led mix dominated by various ‘convivia’ – sharing plates of artisan charcuterie, cheeses and rustic breads with homemade sottaceti (pickles) and deep-fried vegetables. Otherwise, business suits, hotel guests and tourists can choose from a conventional line-up featuring, say, conchiglie pasta with monkfish, saffron ad Taggiasca olives or beef fillet with potatoes tortino, sautéed leeks and veal sauce, followed by zabaglione or amarena (sour cherries served warm with ricotta and pistachio). The food is matched by a well-chosen all-Italian wine list.

Good to know about Diciannove at the Crowne Plaza Hotel

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Italian
Ambience
Formal
People
Group dining [8+]

Location for Diciannove at the Crowne Plaza Hotel

Crowne Plaza Hotel, 19 New Bridge Street, EC4V 6DB

020 7438 8052

Website

Opening Times of Diciannove at the Crowne Plaza Hotel

Mon-Fri 12N-3pm Mon-Sat 6-10.30pm

Reviews of Diciannove at the Crowne Plaza Hotel

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3 Reviews
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Ms/Mrs. Frank C

I Miss Refettorio.
05 July 2013
This restaurant recently changed its name from the previous Refettorio so one can assume that it has new management. The staff who receive you are the same and they are outstanding and friendly. The menu is still very good and the food delicious if perhaps lacking the former sparkle and tending more to the mundane. Happily, the new owners have retained the former practice of having starters serve also as more substantial main courses. I strongly recommend the tagliatelle with beef and pork ragout and the superb ravioli di agnello, served on a delicious pea puree. Both are delicious although the portions are not as generous as they could be for a main course. A colleague went to buy a mushroom soup at a nearby Pret a Manger after having the ravioli. Also, you may well be resented if you choose a starter as a more expensive main course. Our waiter seemed seriously discomfited (almost downright offended) by the fact that we were NOT having a selection from the more expensive main courses and that we were not having wine. As a result, and this has happened through several of my frequent visits to the new Diciannove, he proceeded to punish us by cold and half-hearted service punctuated by some unnerving disappearances. Restaurants that are based in hotels without a soul must make an extra effort to attract the punters. There is much about Diciannove that is promising. However, the loyalty of City workers is fickle and some of these elements are likely to discourage the faithful. Several of us who work nearby have already commented on the sad demise of our much-loved and frequented Refettorio. Restaurants, like religions, need the steady contributions of the truly faithful.
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Should have gone later...
02 April 2013
So, this is N in a series of N+1 reviews of places I've had a working lunch. Which is possibly the problem. More of that soon. Oh, and “working lunch” is not a euphemism. I feel that's an important point to make. More of that soon, as well. It's come to my attention that the average standard of London restaurant is now so good, that to stand out in any way takes real effort. To an extent, that is now influencing my choice of eatery more than any other factor (that's sad, isn't it?). Given that I had to find a restaurant within walking distance of a certain internationally famous newspaper which is printed on pink paper (allegedly – I'm colour blind, so let me know if it isn't true), I was rather surprised at the choice available. Essentially, it boiled down to Borough Market (seafood, or meat recently pulsing with life and only vaguely introduced to a grill via a casual acquaintance), or travelling across t'river to rarer climes. That led me to a straight choice between Chinese Cricket Club & Refettorio. Tossed a coin and Sr. Locatelli won. Observation #1: I got the strong impression that Refettorio is much more “fun” in the evening. Ignore my rating for “Atmosphere” if you're considering weekend / post-work dining. We were the 3rd table to be seated at 1:15, and ended up talking in whispers lest industrial espionage be committed by the dodgy looking cove on the next table. Observation #2: if you want good service, go nowhere else (at lunchtime). Following my recent waterboarding elsewhere, I was understandably nervous about waiting staff lurking anywhere nearby. Fortunately, the staff here have been trained in mindreading and could materialise with nano-seconds of a small finger gesture. I like that. Observation #3: a good gnocchi is a thing of beauty, and I'm in love with what I had. Observation #4: My guest went for rack of lamb, after trying to order risotto. Good news: risotto is _really_ made then & there. That's the only reason she didn't have it: we didn't have enough time. Fall to your knees and praise the chef that does this. Hallelujah! Yes, yes, yes! Observation #5: I felt the bill was a tad steep for a working lunch. BUT, for a dinner with friends / partner / lover (note the potential for mutual exclusivity there), it would have been fine. Go. Have risotto. Smile.
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Mr. James R

26 June 2011
Well – I was recommended this restaurant by few of my colleagues so, decided to give it a try. It was brilliant, professional, knowledgeable friendly service which was complimented with great, fresh and tasty food, a dynamic wine list and an Italian maitre d' with a russian name who knows his stuff. Well done! see you again very soon.
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Value

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