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 cod.
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|
|Where||Osteria 60, 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|