Taverna Trilussa (Rome)

http://www.tavernatrilussa.it/

As far as I could see proper Roman food is pretty heavy and non-cardiologist approved; it tends to consist of cured meats, cheese, deep fried things, red meat and bacon fat. So after 9 odd courses the prior evening I was not that up for such a rich meal; however, when in Rome…

Taverna Trilussa serves traditional Roman food in pleasant surroundings not far from the main in drag in the lively night life area of Trastevere, just over the bridge on the west bank.

We started with some Prosciutto crudo con osso D’Osvaldo di Cormons which was nice enough.  We shared a pasta course of Bucatini all’ Amatriciana; this was billed as Rome’s most famous dish- ‘thick hollow spaghetti with tomato sauce, guanciale bacon and Pecorino cheese’.  The dish was very rich and tasty- proper hearty food, I would not have wanted one to myself though.  Two beef dishes were also deep i flavour and well cooked.

Bucatini all’ Amatriciana

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Thin slices of beef fillet with balsamic vinegar “25 years reservei”

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Grilled artichokes

Beef fillet soaked in Barolo wine

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La Montecarlo (Rome)

http://www.lamontecarlo.it/en/

This restaurant was placed with tourists and locals at lunchtime.  It specialises in Roman style pizza.  This was very good, being ultra-thin but without being too crispy, the pizza were also very big and pretty cheap.

Marinara and Napoletana pizzas

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The service here was friendly and was done with a bit of quirky style.  For example the bill was directly written on the paper table cloth.

A good way to save paper:

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La Pergola (Rome)

http://www.romecavalieri.com/lapergola.php

Scores: 3M*

Heinz Beck is a German chef who is currently in his 20th year running La Perola, currently the only 3M* restaurant in Rome.  He also ran Apsleys in the Lanesborough Hotel in London which is currently closed as part of a complete refurbishment of the entire building.

This was a fantastic meal, top notch food, friendly perfect service and a great location complete with a stunning view over Rome.  We went for the ‘gourmet menu’, the smaller of the two tasting menus available on the night.  There were a couple of dishes that I would have said were not quite perfect but the overall package here was so good it perhaps will go on my top 10 meals list.

AB- veal

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Amberjack tartare with avocado and peaches

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Carpaccio of scallops on amaranth grain and black corn with ginger oil

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Water garden…

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Green tortellini with seafood

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Crispy red mullet with herbs

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Cod cooked in garlic-flavoured olive oil on cannellini beans with salt cod snow

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Fillet of veal with mushrooms, summer truffle and potatoes

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Grand dessert

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The one thing I disliked here, as well as in some other high end Italian restaurants, is the large water menu, a few choices I don’t mind but seriously can anyone tell the difference between 5 individual waters, never mind 29?

However, would recommend this meal to anyone and I hope that Apsleys reopens when the Lanesborough does as I thought it perhaps produced London’s best Italian food.

 

Marcus

http://www.marcus-wareing.com/

Scores: 2M*

Marcus is the slightly re-branded restaurant formally known as Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley.  To be honest it is a little more ‘casual’ in decor and service but really not much as changed.  Although, it has now, not only, removed its tasting menus on Friday and Saturday nights but you can have just two courses (@ £60, 3 @ £85).

Rabbit, beetroot, watercress

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Tuna, sweetcorn, oyster, Espelette

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Sea bass, sweet potato, saffron, sorrel

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Galloway beef, rarebit, marrow, brisket (£10 supplement)

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Pineapple, pain perdu, coconut

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The ford was all pretty good but it was not the best that I have eaten here.  One of the best things was the chocolate, dark, milk, white dessert (not pictured), which was one of the best puddings I have had in a while.

Wormwood

http://www.wormwoodrestaurant.com/about

Wormwood is a new place in north Notting Hill, a couple of doors down from the original Rum Kitchen. It claims to specialise in pan-Mediterranean cuisine so it contains influences from Spain to Morcocco and everywhere in between.  Despite a couple of good reviews in major papers in the two weeks before my visit; the restaurant was half empty on a Saturday night in mid-August (confirming my theory that half of K&C leaves town for the month.)

The menu is a small plates affair and both an AB (below) and a pre-dessert were also given.  Also there is an interesting cocktail list for those who fancy one before dinner.

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AB

Croquettas- Squid croquets, black aioli with hot smoked paprika. (£7)

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Lobster Couscous- Seffa couscous, confit lemon, lobster bisque (£15)

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Pulled Pork- Baby spinach, spinach velouté, sunflower seeds and black olive crumb (£7)

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L’Aubergine II- Smoked aubergine mousse, confit baby aubergine, chili & coriander oil (£7)

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North South Scallops- Scallops ceviche, redcurrant dressing, coriander cress, homemade lemoncello gel (£11)

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Solomio- Seared Black Angus fillet, flamed roscoff onion purée, Pico de gallo (£12)

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The cooking here was done fairly well and used some modern techniques, although for me it did not quite come together for some dishes.  Maybe it is a case of trying a little too hard and not concentrating on the flavours enough.  Although the prices here look like good value at first glance, the bill soon adds up as you order more dishes and there is not a great deal of some of the key ingredients (beef, scallop, lobster) in a few of the dishes.  The service was very good, with all the dishes explained well and the staff seeming to care what one thought of the food.

Wormwood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Ups and downs of the Chiltern Firehouse

I have been once to the C Firehouse, just after it opened, even at that time it was already fully booked out on a Monday night. The reason I was interested to go was that it is run by Nuño Mendes, who used to run Viajante in the East End, where I have had interesting food in the past.  When I went I thought the atmosphere was pretty fun and the food decent but far from mind blowing- so ‘safe’ compared to what Mendes was previously known for (see review).

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Apparently now it is full of celebs, I think the Mail is full of “C-listers snapped outside of CF” stories as well as to be fair some A-listers. Basically the Firehouse seems to be the same as the Ivy in its glory days now; if you are someone who has an agent it is fairly easy to get in otherwise it is basically impossible. Then if you do manage to visit you wonder what all the fuss is about (unless you are sat next to Moss, Campbell etc. and that is the sort of thing that you wanted).

Recently the Firehouse may have had a setback, although I am sure the celebs will not care, but it was awarded a 2 by scores on the doors and this was widely reported in the media. However, it also came 48th on this year’s Good Food Guide top 50 (with a score of 6), which gives some support that the food must be good, although on my experience this could be one to two marks too high.

 

 

 

Beast

http://www.beastrestaurant.co.uk/

Meat locker

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From the Goodman and Burger & Lobster peeps comes Beast, a ridiculous concept of a restaurant.  Here one is given a set menu of steak and crab plus starters and sides, all for £75 served in somewhere reminiscent of the Hogwarts hall.  The wine list is punchy as well so this is not a cheap night out.

Starters- wheel of Parmesan, pickled artichokes and olives

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Steak and sides

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steak

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More sides

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Norwegian king crab

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I think this is a fun place to go once to and it was perfect for our boys night out but I am not sure I would be in a hurry to go again.  Sure the food is very good but the no choice menu and the seating arrangements are not something I would like very often.  Also as many have said before me- it is far from cheap.