locanda locatelli, w1
we decided to go for an early booking so we could completely indulge and not feel too full of food to sleep - serious greed was definitely at play as i planned our visit.
aperitifs of prosecco for david and an orange champagne cocktail for me kept us company as we came to terms with quite how greedy we were going to be. starters, pasta and mains were all lined up with an eye to dessert and a hand in the bread basket… (superb bread of course, with grassy olive oil for dipping)
my starter was belgian endive salad with blue cheese and pear while david chose minced pork wrapped in savoy cabbage served with wedges of pan-fried risotto. both were excellent with balanced flavours and textures.
for our pasta course i chose homemade pheasant parcels with rosemary jus. i found the rich meaty flavour a bit too strong and was glad i hadn’t chosen this as a main dish. on the other hand, david’s dish of homemade pasta ribbons with spicy kid goat ragú was the sort of food you could happily eat vats of, pausing only to reassure yourself there was more spicy deliciousness on its way.
our main courses, panfried calves kidney with potato puree and lentils for me, and roast duck with broccoli with garlic, chilli and spelt for david, were less exciting. they were fine, but no more than that. the portions were also large and by this time we were starting to feel full.
i was sufficiently full that i decide to pass on pudding, choosing a glass of the recommended vini dolci ( recioto della valpolicella pergole vece, le salette, veneto, 2001) that accompanied david’s sicilian ricotta cake with pistachio ice cream. this wine was the most beautiful dessert wine i’ve ever had. so beautiful, i have no recollection at all what david’s pudding was like (nice cake, beautiful ice cream, apparently!).
so, some great dishes and others that were simply fine and yet this was the nicest meal/evening out that we’ve had in a long time, prompting instant proclamations of our desire to return. why?
the company was obviously good and the restaurant welcoming but i think it was a case of the sum being more than the parts. for instance, giorgio locatelli ensures his staff work reasonable hours (closer to 40 than 70 as is often the case elsewhere). also, the meal the staff team eat before the service is to the same standard as the food they will later be creating and serving to the paying public. both surely contribute to the excellent food and service.
the bill wasn’t cheap, just under £200 including service (our wine was sangiovese cimbolo, poggio bertaio, 2001 ) but this is a place i’ll happily come back to and save my pennies to enable me to do so. in fact, i already have a date pencilled in the diary for a return visit…
8 seymour street . london w1h 7jz
reservations: 020 7935 9088 (up to one month in advance)