Phone 0871 704 0603
Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras
Type of Cuisine Italian
Chef Marco Torri
Lunch 12.00 – 2.30pm Mon-Sat (3.00pm Sat)
Dinner 6.30 – 10.30pm Mon-Sat
There's a touch of expensive Bond Street lustre about this luxurious osteria, with its glossy panelling, highly polished wood and golden swirls – in fact you'd hardly believe the building was once an Italian café and chippie. Chef Marco Torri and co-owner Giovanni Baldino made their mark at Michelin-starred Locanda Locatelli, but the style and mood here is very different.
'Semplice' translates as 'simplicity', which neatly sums up the kitchen's intentions. Ingredients are judiciously sourced from artisan regional producers in Italy, and the results on the plate are clear-flavoured, direct and free from tampering. There are echoes of hard-core domestic cooking, but tradition is tweaked with some novel, innovative touches.
To start, it's hard to resist grilled octopus with a salad of shredded carrot, ginger and Sarawak pepper or homemade sedanini pasta with venison ragoût and cavolo nero. In addition, you might find home-smoked duck breast with rocket, pea shoots and Sardinian bread, as well as Italian free-range rabbit with baby carrots, broad beans and artichoke sauce. Seafood also comes through strongly in the form of a risotto of clams with wilted greens or sea bass with chick pea cassata and spinach.
Desserts hit the button with Domori chocolate tart and bitter almond sauce or apple fritters with cinnamon custard, and the patriotic cheeseboard is well worth exploring (especially if you try piquant home-produced 'marmalades' on the side). The wine list is a very respectable selection from accredited Italian producers.
Also featured in: Michelin Guide.
|Vegetarian||Private Parties||Child Friendly|