An excellent choice for after-work drinks and dinner with colleagues.
The menu is very fancy, with loads of dishes to choose from.
For starters, we went for a mix of many, and I can say that, though the calamari alla Romana, the scampi and the Bruschetta are good, carpaccio was the best, both tasty and melting in the mouth.
All Mains were mouth-watering, pasta was al-dente, the pizza crust was thin and wood-oven cooked, and for once, I didn't go for a pizza-pasta-risotto (I got agnello alla cacciatora), and i was not disappointed at all !
A great night out, eager to go back !
Quite an attractive place in the business center exchange square. Italian in spirit but featuring many contemporary spins and alternative directions. We opted for a 2 course set menu which was conveniently expensed by our friend, so win-win fo us. The menu was quite reasonable for 2 courses, coming to around 15 quid for an appetizer and main, plus a token bottle of white wine necessary for a boozy lunch. However, it is quite pricy for al la carte and not afraid to charge you the big bucks.
This place is located literally in the middle of the Exchange Square, drawing in the hungry investment banking lunchers and management consultants. So it is pretty fail-proof by its default setting. It was so heavily packed that it was difficult to get your chance to order. However, the waitress reassured us that we would be back to work within an hour. One friend had the soup while I had the prosciutto and parmesan cheese salad done with rocket and a lovely, almost figgy dressing, leaving me with few complaints.
It took ages between portions, which meant the boys were in danger of being late getting back into the office. The staff could do little to help which mean we had to rush our bottle of white wine and our second course. My boyfriend had the steak which was quite well done, and had to be eaten it in a hurry. My sage ravioli was quite nice and well cooked, but nothing extraordinary.
If the service was a it faster (as we mentioned several times that we were in a rush), I would have been inclined to give it a four. But with the late water refills and the ages to both order and receive our food, I couldn't justify it.Especially as they knew we were in a rush. It is a large menu which I am sure some will love but it wasn't stand out to me. Great location as well, but just seemed a bit bland for my Italian menu preference.
It is actually a convenient place to lunch between meetings or have a glass of wine after a stressful day. Just not on the top of my list as there are too many great Italian places and too little time (and money).
This restaurant is one of only a few on Exchange Square, which means for any of the people who work around here this is one of their only options for food (or, perhaps more often, drink) if they want to travel less than one minute away from their buidling. On top of that, many of the people who work around here are finance types that can be free-spirited when it comes to spending. On top of THAT, some of this spending happens on corporate cards.
With this backdrop in mind, you can see that Piccolino is set up to succeed. Thankfully, the place is alright. I've been here maybe five or six times (haven't paid yet!) and had a pretty good experience each time. Twice I came for a real, sit-down lunch. The food was great, flavorful, filling and attractive. Most dishes are somewhat expensive, starting around £15 and heading north (but who's counting!). There is a nice wine list and I've enjoyed some good bottles. The beer list is shit, with just the regular pale lagers on keg and one real ale on cask, which is usually in poor condition. I've also had nibbles of the bar food (chips, pizza, etc.) and it's pretty alright.
Overall Piccolino is a nice place. The environment is very upscale and the wait staff is kind and efficient. I wouldn't say go out of your way to come here, but for anyone who works in the area it is a good option.
I have to preface this review by saying I was the recipient of free beer the whole night while I was there, which is almost surely never the case.
That being said, what I really wanted to comment on was how good the pizza was. It was soo good. I was with two friends at the bar, and we ordered 3 pizzas to split. The Parmigiano, the Quattro Stagioni, and the Rustica. All three were excellent, but I have to say that the Parmigiano and the Rustica were the better of the three.
Pizzas were between £7 and £10, with most being around 10, so it is a little pricey, and I might not have gotten all 3 pizzas without the aforementioned free beer. Yet in hindsight, I don't regret any of the purchases, as the pizza was delectable.
I would like to go back and check out the restaurant portion at some point, but probably after I get paid :P
Went on a Friday night after we were given some vouchers as a Christmas present. (About time we used them!) Being a Friday, the front half - where the bar is - was really busy with post-work corporates having drinks. It was very loud, although once further back in the restaurant you regained a sense of separation and privacy. Because of its popularity with after work drinks, recommend making Friday night bookings from 8pm onwards (which is what we did).
Nice big table for two of us, and the service was impeccable. The wait-staff knew everything about the menu and could talk about the ways the dishes were made with clear knowledge. Always reassuring. Never had to top up our own wine, but neither we were fawned over - just right. On top of that, the maitre de very kindly offered us two desserts on the house, which was a great surprise! (For that they've earned that fourth star.)
We had starters of chicken livers with pine nuts and grapes (divine), and a funghi bruschetta (delish). Mains were a fillet steak, and veal chop. Honestly, it was not the greatest steak I've ever had but it wasn't bad, and they cooked it exactly right, which is often the biggest issue with ordering a good chunk of beef. The veal chop was wonderful.
Two starters, two mains and a (lower-end) bottle of wine came to £90, which not even our vouchers could stretch to. It's one of the more expensive meals I've ever had, and I can't see myself spending that much to go back (unless I happen to receive another voucher). The food and service were fantastic, but the venue and ambiance, while perfectly fine, are not quite as "fine dining" as the rest of it tries to be. We did have a really great meal, though, and an enjoyable evening; if that's measure enough for you, then there you go.
Verdict: Expensive, but you'll have an excellent meal. If you're looking for a City restaurant where you can impress clients or perhaps woo the new girl in accounts, and you're happy to fork out, this is a great bet.
Good food. Nice selection. Reasonably priced.
Great restaurant at a very convenient location. It is perfect for business and personal meetings I love the attitude and behavior of all the staff. They greet you appropriately when you enter and actually make sure that your visit is nice. Also, the food is great and always fresh.
Spent a few evenings and lunch hours at this venue when I worked in the area. Whilst a pleasant enough place and experience with very nice food, I always found it a bit pricey, noisy and hot. The staff are very friendly, (with one in particular a bit too friendly!) and the breadsticks (made on the premises) are a nice touch but it doesn't really warrant the dent in your purse at the end of the evening. It is convenient for staff at Herbert Smith, which are situated either side so will always be busy but can be inconvenient for others. Saying that, it is literally above Liverpool Street station so convenient for getting home but then so are other venues. Not bad but you probably wouldn't want to rush back.
Nice place, but very noisy. The restaurant is connected to the bar area, which plays very loud music (on a Friday anyway). It's not so loud that you can't have a conversation, but is not a place you'd go for a quiet meal. Having said that, the service was great, very attentive and friendly staff, and the food was very nice. Not quite worth the very expensive prices though.
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