I really hope that Wills, who was dining here with his soon to be missus and the in-laws, had better service than we did. I don't know if the fact that He was there (together with a couple of very handy looking gentlemen with bulges under their left armpits) put the waiters off but, after my companion was anointed in extra virgin, the gentleman at the next door table took an espresso to the back. To make matters worse, whilst the maitre d' was charm personified, the actual waiters (and waitresses) were surly in the extreme; wanting to take our order the second we sat down, not bringing bread, forgetting the petit fours and taking an age to get the bill.
All this would have been fine had the food been excellent. It wasn't. It wasn't that it was bad (other than whatever was lurking under the, really quite lovely, buffalo mozzarella, which was oily and seriously off-putting), it just didn't coruscate at all. The lasagne was comforting as it should be but, whilst the linguine element of the lobster linguine was very nicely done, the main element was a bit of a let down. There was no bite in it or from the chilli.
We skipped the desert and went for the coffee, which was excellent. Not enough to make you want to rave about the place, but certainly enough to let you know that they really are Italian.
I am not sure why He and Her lot would want to come here mind: the place is full of a mixture of the suited hedgies and the ladies out a-lunching. There are so many better places that They could have chosen nearby.
Of course it isn’t all bad. As well as the aforementioned coffee, the main room upstairs (unlike the frozen tundra of the downstairs room) has a lovely buzz to it. The decor is plain, other than a rather racy picture hanging over the front desk: my companion tells me it was a “portrait” of the memsahib done a few years back. As the only thing that is covered, however, is her face, I am unable to confirm this tale.