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  • 5.0 star rating
    30/6/2014

    As close to perfect and faultless authentic Italian food that I have ever experienced.

    The traditional dishes with creative recipes and glamorous decor, make it loved by people from their late twenties, to the other end of the age spectrum.

    The service pays close care and attention to the customer and is friendly. They do say the specials a bit like they are learned by rote, but there is do much detail it is impressive that they have learned it at all.

    The standards are phenomenal and although this is a top end restaurant, the prices for such standards can be even more expensive elsewhere.

    The only let down is that the booking service is a system where customers have to select a button to get to the right department and the big down side is that it is only during office hours. More often than not this has led me to book elsewhere, as most places can be booked outside office hours.

  • 2.0 star rating
    28/5/2014

    It was very disappointing my second visits here. We visited on bank holiday Monday that must be absent of chefs normally cook there or something?!
    All the vegetable dish such a lobster salad ,Spring vegetable pasta and side vegetable all came shoe string thinly sliced by mandarin slicer.  I had few tiny piece of lobster that was almost offensive to call that lobster salad. Lobster piece was like garnish. Nice staffs and atmosphere though.

    But I won't go back there again.

  • 2.0 star rating
    5/4/2014

    What a shame - once glorious Italian - now just a rip off. Their signature dish of lobster linguini nor fish with side order of zucchini - none if them tastes right any more. This declining taste combined with start to get worn interior... I would say just go elsewhere and don't waste money here... Simply sad ... What happened?!

  • 5.0 star rating
    10/10/2013

    Definitely one of the best Italian restaurants in London. While I was visiting my dear friend in London, she and her boyfriend took me to this, supposedly, one of Victoria Beckham's favorite restaurants. The decor was very classy and staff was very pleasant.

    Our waiter brought a bread box and a mini-pizza plate with smile in the beginning. There were many different kind of bread in the box, and I had to try all the bread and rolls. They were delicious, but I had to stop as I didn't want to be full before ordering a real meal. We ordered a bottle of wine and several appetizers. We ordered Octopus Carpaccio, Salad, and Tomato soup (can't remember the name). I also had to order Watermelon martini since it was special on that day and looked very cute. It was very delicious.

    We ordered Seafood pasta, Seafood risotto, Chicken dish (again, can't remember the names of the dishes...). The waiter explained about each dish with Italian accent (cute!). The foods were just delicious. We were really enjoying our conversation during dinner, and the waiter commented that we seemed very happy people with the accent (I guess I just loved the Italian accent).

    We then had Tiramisu, gelato, Chocolate tart, and cream crape with another baked custard on top ( Can't remember the name...I'm so bad...). We also had cappuccino that was just perfect. The waiter brought a pastry plate along with all the desserts we ordered, and our table was full of sweets that made me very happy.

    We stayed for like two hours to finish all the food, and all this time, everyone here, the waiter, the sommelier, and the dessert guy (there was another waiter brought the dessert plate to show us Dolci of that day) were very pleasant.

    I will be visiting London again soon, and I would definitely like to come back here again.

    • Qype User qaloxi…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 3 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    21/8/2013

    Their respective dishes were so very amazing. Very appetizing
    and full of flavorsI think all their ingredients that they used will surely a
    good quality brand. They made it made perfectly delicious Italian dishes. This restaurant wasvery elegant with some very
    fascinatingdesign. About the service; it was very nice as well.

  • 4.0 star rating
    26/2/2013
    Listed in Date Night, London

    Classy place.  Lots of great pasta dishes to choose from.  Loved the atmosphere.  

    For my main, Linguine all'astice-Linguine with lobster, tomato, garlic and chill.  The flavors were amazing.  

    Tart of the day, coconut topped with fresh raspberry preserves.  Out of this world. Also had a taste of the Banana and chocolate rice pudding with black truffle, delicious, and different than you would think, more solid than liquid consistency (if that makes sense) almost like the rice was bound together with some kind of great pudding glue.  

    Would love to come back to try some more.

  • 5.0 star rating
    27/2/2012
    2 check-ins

    Though I'm familiar with Giorgio Locatelli from his appearances on TV, I had never eaten at his restaurants. However, my good Yelp buddy Tirthankar D tempted me with Locanda Locatelli's truffle menu, which was on offer in February

    So, I persuaded my sister to join us for lunch this Sunday. Located on the corner of the Churchill Hyatt Regency Hotel a stone's throw from Marble Arch Underground station, the restaurant has its own separate public entrance as well as access from the hotel

    A first slight disappointment was a sign banning mobile phones and cameras from the restaurant though my rebellious streak did sneak a photo of my main course for my Yelp review

    The restaurant was classy with some very interesting huge curved parabolic mirrors on the wall. The service was efficient throughout though not what I could ever describe as warm. Dishes were announced with a variable degree of detail throughout our meal

    As their truffle season was ending, they didn't have the full truffle tasting menu on offer but we were able to try a few dishes off it

    My sister and I had the egg pasta in truffle butter finished with fresh shaved black truffle as a starter dish. It was lovely to have the truffle shaved on at the table - I hope that diners at surrounding tables didn't think us rude for picking up the truffle pieces which fell on the table! This was a simple but heavenly dish - the egg pasta was rich with egg yolk and enhanced perfectly with the earthy truffle flavour. I do think the simple truffle dishes the most satisfying e.g. in scrambled egg or with pasta because the truffle is allowed to shine

    Tirthankar offered us a taste of the ox tongue with green parsley sauce. The tongue was served in thin slices and tasted like a wonderful ham

    For main course, my sister and I went for the slow cooked suckling pig served with mashed potato and caramelised Granny Smith apple. Another stunning dish. The pig was so sweet and tender with lovely crisped up skin. The mashed potato was rich and velvety smooth and the apple was a good flavour counterpoint to all the richness

    Tirthankar was happy with his powerful full bodied red wine and I had an eye catching red freshly squeezed blood orange juice

    Italian isn't usually my favourite food genre but this was a fantastic meal even if the bill was quite steep at £62 per head for 2 courses and minimal drinks.

    Thanks for organising a great lunch, Tirthankar!

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/4/2009
    ROTD 27/10/2009

    I've just come back from lunch at Locanda Locatelli and it was a spectacular 3 hours. The service is extremely good, the sommelier is knowledgeable and friendly. We ended up having a lovely Italian wine that came with a charming story from the sommelier.

    I had the green bean salad to start. It was fresh, crisp and beautifully seasoned. I moved on to a spicy lobster linguini that was perfectly balanced--lobster can be quite sweet so I wasn't sure how it was going to work with the chilies, but of course it was delicious. I highly recommend the aforementioned combination.

    The one draw-back is the seating. There are definitely some tables that are not good tables. There are some near the entrance that feel quite cut off from the rest of the restaurant--it just wouldn't be that pleasant to sit at those tables.

    When the bill finally came I was surprised at just how low it was. We all had two course, wine and coffees and it was £55 a person. For some reason I was expecting much more damage. Compared to other meals I've had for £50-£60 per person this came out on top.  

    One more thing... make sure to leave just a little bit of room for a couple of sweet bits with your coffee. The chocolate truffles are tiny rich and boozy bites of pure yummyness.

  • 5.0 star rating
    15/2/2009

    Georgio Locatelli has done his TV series- as most of the successful London Chefs seems to have to do nowadays; a rite of passage, of sorts. What I remember was a very personable chap with a sense of fun and good humour, who was full of enthusiasm for Italian food and cooking. He came across as someone who lived to feed others well.

    His restaurant is expensively designed in a contemporary fashion. A light room with seating that didn't make us feel like our neighbours were close enough to hear whispers.

    The scallops that my son found so 'yummy' were well seared and plump; dishes like ox-cheek ravioli, linguine with crabmeat, quail risotto were enjoyed by all with much 'Mmm...ing'. My veal cutlet was deliciously charred on the outside and juicy/ pinkish on the inside. I also remember dishes like pan-fried calf's kidneys, sea bass, sardines.

    Mr. Locatelli evidently believes that restaurants (even 'high-end' dining) should welcome young children and showed this by inviting my young son into the kitchen to design his own ice-cream dessert!

    We left a little drunk from good food and full of good cheer...quite the way one wishes to feel more often upon leaving restaurants...

  • 5.0 star rating
    15/8/2009
    ROTD 19/1/2010

    The combination of amazing food, an extensive wine list, and sleek decor make for a wonderful dinner.  Everything is luxurious without feeling stuffy. The menu is seasonal and fresh, and you really can't go wrong.  

    It was an extra special touch to see that the chef was actually in the kitchen (so rare these days), and he even came out to say hello.

    Put on a special dress, grab a hot date, and enjoy a dinner that is truly an experience.

  • 5.0 star rating
    13/6/2013

    Simply stated, perfection !

    If only I could afford to dine here on a regular basis.

  • 5.0 star rating
    7/9/2011

    Had a fabulous evening with a friend. The champagne cocktails to start with were just super and hit the spot. In terms of food - dont miss the salted cod starter with fresh tomatoes and the chestnut Tagliatelle with porcini and wile mushrooms pasta. Strong flavours - but delicious! The portions are quite generous - I was not able to finish my pasta.

    The service as well was excellent. The good thing was that the restaurant was not very noisy and you could actually hold a decent conversation at normal decibel levels.

    Would definitely return!

  • 5.0 star rating
    1/11/2010
    42 check-ins

    I get so excited about this restaurant I never know how to properly begin a review of it. This is definitely in my top 5 all time favorite places, in large part to the food, but to the overall dining experience as well. The best service in the city.

    The dining space is elegant, comfortable contemporary, which I think describes Giorgio Locatelli's Italian menu. He modernizes the Italian palate while staying true to the flavors that make Italian cuisine such a favorite comfort food. Their gnocchi with mushrooms is an all time favorite, as is anything on the autumnal seasonal truffle menu. Everything on the menu is outstanding, all the way to the tempting treats for dessert such as fluffy tiramisu. A celebrated wine list is expected here of course, but the grappa list has an impressive selection as well.

    In writing all of this I realize I must go back there tomorrow!

  • 2.0 star rating
    29/5/2011

    Just took my second visit here as a birthday treat. The place is swish and really feels special. The menu is lovely too. Full of authentic Italian stuff.

    But. My partner's crab linguini was swimming in oil and packed no punch at all. Really weak on flavour. And my mackerel came barely cooked, which for me seems completely the wrong way to cook mackerel. Isn't the point of mackerel to have a lovely burnished skin? We ordered a side of roast potatoes which were a little leathery. Ordinarily I wouldn't comment about these things because in the grand scheme of things it wasn't a bad meal.

    However, the meal for two with one mid priced bottle of wine was £200 and I'm afraid for that money I expect far far better from the food.

    The menu is very expensive, but it seems you're paying for the swish setting.

    I'm not sure I'll be going back. Not with the credit crunch anyhow!

  • 4.0 star rating
    22/7/2012

    This was truly a delicious meal. Ambience and wait staff are both great, and the food is amazing.

    For the price, however, everything has to be perfect, and there was a pasta special that my dining partner ordered that just *completely* overdid the peas. Such a shame, because I really truly wanted to give this place five stars and I hope it was just a blip in an otherwise remarkable establishment.

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/7/2012 Updated review

    Locanda Locatelli is located at the Churchill Hyatt Regency Hotel and is right off the Marble Arch central line. The restaurant notifies you when you make the reservation that you have a 2 hour time slot. Not sure if they will haggle you if you exceed it but the food comes in a timely manner so it is a pretty efficient meal. The staff was very friendly and welcoming and the ambiance is modern and relaxed.

    They start you out with a giant bowl of various breads as well as their home made bread sticks. One of the breads that they provide is filled with melty cheese and ham!
    We ordered two dishes that had black truffles and boy are they generous with the truffle shavings! The cheesecake was deconstructed and oh so smooth and creamy. I loved the amaretto biscotti! I could have eaten a whole bowl of these things.

    Green bean salad, potato, shallot dressing, summer black truffle
    Sardines with Crostini and Greens
    Homemade potato e mushroom dumplings, black truffle
    Homemade pasta with kid goat ragù, chilli
    Cherry Gelato
    Cheesecake with vanilla, violet jelly and strawberry sorbet
    Amaretto Biscotti, Truffles, and Gelee

    4.0 star rating
    24/7/2012 Previous review
    Locanda Locatelli is located at the Churchill Hyatt Regency Hotel and is right off the Marble Arch… Read more
  • 5.0 star rating
    17/9/2013
    1 check-in

    Upscale with flavor that matches.  The mushroom and truffle gnocchi was a blast of flavor.  The John Dory was out of this world -- one of the best seafood dishes that I've tasted.   I'm wasn't doing the wine selections, but all those were delicious. Top notch service as well.

    • Qype User marshc…
    • London
    • 26 friends
    • 79 reviews
    1.0 star rating
    5/2/2009

    I was really looking foward to eating in this place, i work just round the corner, pass it every day and was hoping good things would amass.

    Oh how wrong I could be. I have NEVER experienced such awful service in my life, the staff were rude, unhelpful and obnoxious, we had an awful experience and they tried absoloutely nothing to put it right.
    The whole experience stunk of pretentiousness.
    We actually walked out - something i think even the staff were a bit shocked about - you pay for the experience, and i certainly would not spend another penny in this place.

    If you want michelen starred food there are tons of places in London which are better than this - for better service you could probably try the KFC around the corner.

    Certainly not recommended.

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/4/2013

    Food was excellent and lived up to expectations. Server left us waiting for 15 min at outset but sommelier graciously intervened and got things back on track (& comped our glasses of wine, which were both excellent). Nice touches, like the lovely dessert plate that came with the check. A lovely place for dinner in Hyde Park.

    • Qype User london…
    • London
    • 100 friends
    • 59 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    6/8/2008

    Went for lunch here today and was pleasantly impressed without it being out of this world. The place was heaving and almost full, so I'd advise booking if you wish to go, even at lunchtime.
    Food was very well presented and service was very professional and mostly very good (the waiting staff seem to be mostly very authentic Italian, so there were a couple of small mix-ups, such as a decaf expresso instead of a double expresso, that sort of thing!)
    All-in-all, I had a very pleasant afternoon there and all things on the menu there (there were four of us) being very good without being amazing. As Italian restaurants go, I'd say Quiranale, near the Houses of Parliament, is just as good, but this is a solid restaurant that didn't disappoint.

    • Qype User goochi…
    • London
    • 6 friends
    • 103 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    19/1/2009

    Highly recommend this restaurant but it is expensive, so best saved for a special occasion.

    Not your average italian restaurant (don't expect pizza and lots of pasta). Risotto, some pasta dishes, fish and game.

    Everything we ordered was delicious and perfectly executed. The home-made bread basket was divine and the complimentary amouse bouche was wonderful too. We left here absolutely full but wanting more.

    Good wine list (not many cheaper bottles though). Service, excellent.

  • 3.0 star rating
    14/8/2013

    Great food although service was patchy. Swapping mistaken fish dishes between 2 plates at the table a definite no-no.

  • 5.0 star rating
    18/2/2010
    3 check-ins
    Listed in Special occasions

    The food was marvellous ... the wine list was so big that it had a Contents page (wines sorted by region) ... and the ambience was classy.
    This dinner here was a memorable experience, and not simply because it was the best Italian food i have had in London.
    For a start, let me start by attempting to describe how the full- bodied red wine was served. After the customary tasting of the first few drops by my friend, the waiter poured a few drops into one of the glasses. Then he rotated the glass so that the entire inner surface was touched by the wine. Then that minute amount was transferred to the second glass and the process repeated. Then back to the first glass and then the second again. Then he lit a candle and poured the wine from the bottle to another container while placing the bottle against the flame. Then the wine was poured into the glasses from that container. I was almost ashamed to drink ... since there was nothing ritualistic about the way i drink. It seemed almost inappropriate to gulp this thing down after the effort that had been put to serve this very tasty wine.
    I had eggs with toast and black truffles as a starter. This dish really had to be tasty ... and so it was. The smell of the truffle was great and it really enhanced the flavour of the scrambled eggs that i had ordered.
    For the main course i had Potato dumplings with venison. This was a pasta, brilliantly cooked. I had ordered the main course portion (which is 4.5 pounds more expensive than the starter portion listed on the menu). However the highlight of the evening was the potato and mushroom pasta with black truffles that my friend ordered. It was naturally rich and creamy ... full of cheese (wonder how i haven't had a heart attack yet) ... and add the truffles to that ... what we ended up with was divine.
    The dessert was more down to earth. The tiramisu was soft and tasty ... and the Marsala dessert wine that i had was also good ... though maybe a slight let-down from the high standards set earlier in the evening. They also got a small selection of complimentary sweet-dishes with the dessert order.
    The service was as one would expect in a michelin starred restaurant. Polite, attentive and informed. Both of us greatly appreciated their wine suggestion.
    Overall Locanda Locatelli is an amazing place ... for all sorts of occasions ... from business meetings to dates. It is rather pricey, but without alcohol, one can have a meal at less than 45 pounds. I am already thinking of some excuse for returning there :)

  • 4.0 star rating
    7/11/2008
    First to Review

    Went here for my birthday. After reading many outstanding reviews, I had to try this celeb hot-spot out. They have Damien Hirst paintings on the wall and a nice atmosphere. We were very please with our pasta course but our main was not up to par, especially at that price. Overall it is a wonderful place for special occasions but I suggest sticking to pasta, vino, and dessert. And it won't hurt the pocket book as badly.

  • 4.0 star rating
    27/1/2012

    Nice fancy-ER twist on OG Italian food. The "pay as you go" truffle on the pasta was dangerous for my tiny wallet but totally worth it. loved the rabbit main and ESP loved the spicy pasta (forgot the name.) Spotting an A-list celeb was pretty rad too!

    • Qype User s-j-…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 10 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    27/5/2013

    Locanda Locatelli is a nice Italian restaurant in Central London.
    The location is very nice and the service is good.
    The food is really nice but not really authentic Italian.
    Having said this I can recommend this place but give it only 4 Stars because:
    1) the food is not really authentic Italian even though the Vitello Tonnato was very nice, it lack a little of the real Italian taste
    2) The price  it is expensive for what you get

  • 5.0 star rating
    15/7/2012

    fantastic!  Excellent service.  Showed up without a reservation on a Friday night, seated within 1/2 hour.  My friend had chicken, and said it was the most tender he'd had in a long time.  I had a very good salad and sole.  Recommended wine matched well.  Sorbetti were amazing.  Use your head though if you go to an expensive restaurant like this.  Go in the later part of the evening.

  • 5.0 star rating
    23/9/2011

    Great Italian food.  The food was very rich affair but delicious.  It's a little dark and the atmosphere is a little on the stuffy side but you can't complain about the food.

  • 5.0 star rating
    19/8/2009

    Good creative Italian food with excellent service, exactly what I expected.

  • 5.0 star rating
    12/1/2009

    Ok perhaps Locanda and Zafferano share the best Italian in London (well ok River Cafe has an angle there too). I will never forget the dinner we had there - I ordered the strozzapreti with a wonderfully long braised ragu, and then my sister had the worst coughing fit of her life (she was very ill)  and we had to go home early. But it was an amazing meal!

  • 5.0 star rating
    31/1/2011

    Excellent!!! What amazing Italian food. Everthing was so good, I loved the lobster raviloli. Fresh made pasta and sauces, mmmm. Service was a little slow but food made up for it.

  • 3.0 star rating
    14/10/2011

    Locanda Locatelli oozes money. The staff, the decor and the clientele. They all scream, in a modest understated way, that if you have to ask the price of anything, you shouldn't be here. Now beating up a restaurant on Portland Square, next to Little Arabia and just up from hedgefund-land, for its pricing might feel a tad unnecessary. It's like attacking the child infused atmosphere of a Harvester during the middle of the summer holidays or as someone less verbose than I would put it, like shooting fish in a barrel. That being said, I feel it's important to make the point, as unless price is entirely and utterly irrelevant to you, pricing this steep can easily get in the way of even a very good meal.
    Baccala' Mantecato, that Venetian treat of salt cod blended with olive oil to a smooth paste with the lightest hint of the sea came with aromatic pomodoro tomatoes, watercress and a crumble of tasty polenta crisp. A rustic winter classic, scoffed by the ton as a way of getting the most out of the preserved fish in leaner months. A beautiful and expansive starter with tons of contrasting flavour, followed a vast and interesting breadbasket, opening well, but at £14.50 a plate, enough to give all but the most homesick of Venetians a moment's pause.
    We both went for a pasta course as our main, my guest sampling the Strozzapreti pasta, a rougly rolled penne style ideal for holding a thicker tomato sauce full of olive and spicy soft n'duja salami. I went for perfectly cooked risotto over, slightly salty, duck ragu, served with a handful of girolles. It was good ribsticking fare, the kind that you'd expect at any trattoria across the Italian countryside, but with both at over £20 a plate when you pay the main course 'supplement', a little (or a lotto) on the steep side. The carne and pesci selections are also often recommended by regulars, small selections of pan fried or char grilled fresh fish and meats with simple accompaniments.
    As you'd expect, the wine list is aimed at the high end, but there are a number of reasonable surprises and it's telling that they've won a number of awards for the long, well thought out (predominently Italian) list. It's not just the obvious regions they cover, we went for a Nero Di Troia from unfashionable Puglia in the South, it's bright blackberry and prune notes with only a hint of tannin balancing perfectly against the rustic tomato and meat sauces. You'll find a few below fifty a bottle, but you have to look hard.
    Despite the vast number of night clad servers, roaming and floating between the soft white clad tables and gold banquettes like exclusive, sleek and designed water taxis through the Venetian canals, the attention to detail was mixed at best. The water server seemingly over-compensated, leaning across us to refill after every gulp of (not offered until asked for) tap, for the stingy smear of Sicilian extra virgin, poured, providenced but never topped up and the long, long wait to get the bill. Minor quibbles sure, but, as with the food itself, the caveat has to be that you expect better for the price.

    • Qype User MissGo…
    • London
    • 97 friends
    • 178 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    3/12/2007

    Locanda Locatelli is part of the the Churchill Hotel Group,but it seems to do have a mind of its own and does its own thing.Its very smart,swanky tastefully decorated with wood heather and spotlights.
    It is virtually impossible to get in without a booking and you usually have to wait months because its always busy. Locatelli is a celebrity chef but the his reputation is based on and continues to grow because he uses the finest ingredients and marries them up with a traditional style of Italian cooking.
    After having consumed the anti-pasta of delicate Langoustines in a Garlic and Chilli sauce with Pappardelle,Broad- Beans in Tomatoe sauce,we started on the mains . Having chosen the chargrilled rolled Pork it was nice to find that it was bursting with herbs and served with deep-fried Courgettes in batter. We also had a dish of grilled Tuna with Rocket Salad simply served with a wedge of Lemon,all this enhanced the flavours of the raw ingredients with a subtlety which was pleasent to taste. The side orders consisted of roast potatoes pungently infused with sprigs of Rosemary and the Foccacia and breadsticks were pronounced excellent.
    A chocolate tasting dessert combined with a Parfait ice-cream gave the Amadei dish all the finesse it deserved.Perfect Vanilla Pannacotta with Berries,Redfruit sauce and the Stracciatella(Chocolate Chips) ice-cream on a biscuit base hit the right spots in the mouth. Coffee was as good as you would expect and came with a Chocolate Truffle and an outstandingly good Amaretto. Other than the Champagne the wine list is all Italian and the whites and reds are thoughtfully arranged by region and feature well know growers like Guia Antinori. Wine by the glass is good value at 3.50 or there abouts.

    • Qype User carlro…
    • London
    • 39 friends
    • 68 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    4/5/2010

    We ate here on Sunday and had a lovely meal. The problem is the prices- £19.50 for a "primo" of scampi linguine which was great but I've had similar plates in Italy for 9 Euros! The other "primo" was equally tasty- a "malfatti" filled with potato and mint and an excellent sweet pepper sauce. Delicate and beautifully al dente.
    The main courses were equally good. We had the rabbit and veal fillet dishes which were both top drawer. Unfortunately they were both nearly £30. We were advised well by the sommelier and had some excellent glasses of wine to accompany our dishes. The dessert, a "degustazione di cioccolata" had some wonderful elements but was not all of the highest standard.
    Special praise must go to the waiters who looked after us brilliantly and ensured that the meal was relaxed and not too starchily formal whilst still providing excellent attentive service.
    I think the problem may be that I really know Italian cooking well and am used to eating a meal of similar quality for 50 Euros per head. It is in Mayfair so I really shouldn't have these expectations. Great food (but quite simple) and great service but it won't blow you away!

    • Qype User Chiant…
    • Maidenhead
    • 71 friends
    • 95 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    11/1/2012

    READ THE BOOK, SEE THE MOVIE, GET THE T-SHIRT. We had purchased Locatelli's book and seen him on the TV: all that was now needed was to 'get the T-shirt', figuratively speaking. La contessa had been through a bit of a rough time healthwise and needed to go into London upon offical business with my accompaniment. Mindful of the L'Oréal slogan Because you're worth it, aware of her gastronomic prefences and commensurate with her physical need to add a little tonnage, I somewhat exuberantly booked a lunchtime table at the Michelin-starred Locanda. Immediately upon entry, we were warmly cosseted in the way that the more positive entries here describe. No mobile phones please (hence no photographs), no boringly blinged-up and screeching women, nor rumbling and boorishly-bellowing blokes; just serious diners in an elegant and pleasant environment. We were seated and immediately got outside a glass of prosecco while studying the small print (in fact they publish their menu online daily). While contently nibbling the breadsticks that have also been mentioned otherwhere, we reflected that the bread that follows with the olive oil is also worthy of more than a mention in despatches here. We then made our decisions: Hers: Insalata di carciofi e Parmigiano Reggiano
    (Salad of raw artichokes and Parmigiano, oil and lemon)
    His: Bresaola di manzo al caprino
    (Cured beef with goat's cheese dressing) While la contessa lustfully beamed her way through the artichokes, I savoured the wonderfully fresh taste of the bresaola and longingly thought of the clear Alpine air of Courmayeur or wherever this beautiful kit had come from. I had already made my wine selection, which was a noble Piedmontese Freisa- a very tannin-rich cousin of the Nebbiolo grape and the like of which one seldom encounters in the UK. I proposed a toast to a nice lady I know in Berlin who translated one of the proprietor's books into German. In between our private chitchat and discussing the food, I mischievously let my attention wander to the next table, where a-monotonous-bore high-powered businessman was trying to sell a-fat-man gentleman of substance some type of 'networked solution'. I reflected upon the fact that since my days in marketing, little had changed in the basic rules of salesmanship and that this guy was doing it all wrong. La contessa gracefully accepted my comments and the -fat-man gentleman of substance devoted his attention to his lunch, which did not surprise me. We were then delighted to take delivery of her: Linguine all' astice
    (Linguine with lobster, tomato, garlic and chilli) and my: Rognone di vitello, lenticchie e puré di patate
    (Pan fried calf's kidneys, mashed potato and lentils). I have eaten kidneys in many places but have never been asked to indicate how I would like them cooked. In confusion, I replied medium  and so it was that the deed was done. For the first time ever, I enjoyed kidneys without their traditional hint of bodily waste fluid and cooked in a sauce that I can only describe as blissfully appealing. If I were to find fault in any way, it would be in terms of misinformation, since the mashed potatoes were not mashed per se but rather creamed, which was wonderful since I prefer my spuds that way. With a purring, lobsterised contessa and equally content self, we noticed with amusement that the fat man had still not 'risen to the bait', but was sensibly confining his dialogue to his plate. We decided to inspect the dolci. We both went for Selezione di gelati e sorbetti which sounds, looks and tastes better than 'assortment of ice cream'. Upon asking the waiter what one of the dainty sweets served with our coffee was, he immediately packed a few of these tidbits into a small box for later consumption. It was with a feeling of immense contentment that we eventually emerged and oozed off towards the railway station. This place is not inexpensive when you add the wine, but it is worth it, particularly when you consider that there are so many places in Central London that claim the Earth and cost it, but do not really deliver.

  • 3.0 star rating
    5/5/2010

    Posh clientele, classy and sophisticated Italian food with a great wine list and sommelier ready to help you pick a pairing. Service is nicely attentive and the desserts are wonderful. The food wasn't the most amazing Italian food of my life and I certainly wasn't transported to the streets of Rome and Milan with the hotel style sleek decor but the experience all together was enjoyable

  • 5.0 star rating
    23/9/2011

    Lived up to every expectation.

  • 5.0 star rating
    2/6/2012

    Went for lunch and everything was superb from the twist pasta with shrimp to the sole.  Attentive service and extensive wine list (reasonable).

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/4/2013

    I've been to this restaurant twice and both times did not disappoint. The second time I was taken as a surprise by my boyfriend, who drove me into town after a hard day at work. It's important to get there early to sample one of the delicious cocktails; the Martinis are made to perfection (not quite dirty enough for me though). On my last visit we were led to our table and on the way I spotted Kelly Hoppen (a famous English designer), having dinner with 3 other gorgeous looking ladies. Being a celebrity fanatic I got very excited and hoped Madonna might turn up and sit on the table next to us. Unfortunately Madonna didn't happen, but I did fine out the next day that Victoria Beckham was on the table with Kelly and I had missed her completely. This  slightly tarnished my memory of the food, which was really good. I had a lovely artichoke salad to start, and a lobster linguine for main. The service was impeccable. The food is delicious but it's not extraordinary, it's just really good. So I can't complain about a thing. I just think the whole experience is so wonderfully understated and relaxed but also a little forgettable.

    • Qype User ellief…
    • London
    • 60 friends
    • 6 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    8/6/2009

    I was really impressed with Locanda Locatelli. The service was immaculate and the food fabulous - expensive but definitely worth it for a special occasion.

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