The welcome: Kensington’s
newest Italian restaurant certainly has one of the best spots in West London,
opposite Kensington Palace Garden and a couple of minutes’ walk from the Albert Hall. Situated in the distinctly upmarket setting of the Baglioni Hotel, the
emphasis here is on a high-end experience that appeals to hotel guests and
other diners alike. Thus, the greeting is warm and friendly in the way that
institutions of this sort do so very well. Prego!
The room: In its
former incarnation as Brunello, the restaurant had a rather dated and faintly
desperate quality, as if it hadn’t quite realised that people expected
something more from their £60 plus spend per head than a throwback to the mid
1990s. Now, the excess of kitsch has been pared back in favour of glossy Italian
leather booths, stylish artwork on the walls and expensive-looking dark wood.
The only major minus was the terrible and intrusive music, which was loud and
heavy on the bass; fine if you fancy a night clubbing, but not particularly
conducive to a quiet evening out.
The food: Head
chef Ivan Simeoli is a veteran of Oliver Peyton’s operations, and there’s the
same sort of effortless breeze to the menu that can be found in Peyton’s
restaurants. The schtick here is to marry Italian cuisine with British
ingredients, which might sound obvious but in fact is harder than it seems.
Antipasti of seabass carpaccio with sea urchins is excellent; we were slightly
bemused by another antipasti of burrata being served as if spiralized, but all
was made up for by the magnificent pasta dishes, especially a peerless linguine
alla vongole and an unusual but very fine scialiatelli amatriciana with salted
Mains and desserts are very competent without being
especially exciting, and are on the high-ish side price wise (£27.50 for lamb
chops), but then that is what you would expect from Kensington. Set against
this, the restaurant is lucky enough to have a magnificent sommelier in the
form of Giovanni Rapagnani, formerly of Galvin la Chapelle, and a variety of
delicious and unusual wines are available by the glass, including an especially
fine Gruner Veltliner.
Would we go again? For
the pasta and the wine alone, absolutely.
|What||Osteria 60 review, Kensington|
Baglioni Hotel, 60 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, London , SW7 5BB | MAP
|Nearest tube||High Street Kensington (underground)|
20 May 16 – 13 Jul 17, 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book your table|