Address: Polpo, 41 Beak Street, Soho, London W1F 9SBTelephone: +44 20 7734 4479Website: polpo.co.uk. Then there’s the spiral staircase that swoops down to the lower floor, glass handrails glistening in the soft golden light. Franco's is a recently spruced-up pocket of old-world grandeur in St James's that packs itself out every lunch time, just as it has done since opening in the Forties. If you're in the mood for a hearty Italian meal, whether you have pasta craving or want to indulge in tiramisu, these are the places to head for your fix. The brainchild of Frenchmen Tigrane Seydoux and Victor Lugger from Paris’ Big Mamma Group, Gloria is light and loud, chintzy and charming, vibrant and vivacious… you get the idea. Tucked away in the Bvlgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, Sette is that rare London restaurant that is more than the sum of its parts: Manhattan-opulent, sumptuously lit and serving a damn fine cocktail (La Dolce Vita goes down real easy). Sibling restaurant Padella (regarded as one of the best restaurants in London) might have eclipsed Trullo when it comes to the hype, but this old-school Islington stalwart is still one of the best in town. Drawing inspiration from Middle Eastern and Moorish cuisine, Jon Lawson has created an array of … The orecchiette with 'nduja is a staple, but the rigatoni con la pajata (pajata are calf intestines with the mother’s milk inside) is exceptional and weird at once: the creaminess of this highly specific offal almost tasting like foie gras. The menu's to-the-point and small-platey, though a main should be ordered. Though there are light, elegant crudi like the yellowtail that will besnare the tongue and bewitch your mind, it’s the punchier, earthier flavours where Sette’s menu sings. The black-and-white crab spaghetti packs a punch, and the cacio e pepe doesn't disappoint. You won’t regret it. The draw? We’d also suggest you try the stringy stracciatella that comes sprinkled with spicy soppressata, all doused in rich olive oil, and the fresh citrus salad with crispy fennel and zingy mint leaves. If you need a side, the borlotti beans offer a perfect blend of creamy legume and salsa-like bite. Ask for a table upstairs rather than downstairs to be in the middle of the action. Masha’s energy is infectious (ask nicely and she might even share her recipe for the aubergine polpette). Not so much. With 280 covers, plus space for another 60 on the outdoor terrace, it measures 835 square metres and is every bit as flamboyant as Gloria. Address: Artusi, 161 Bellenden Road, Peckham London SE15 4DHTelephone: +44 20 3302 8200Website: artusi.co.uk. Address: Melanzana, 140 Westbridge Road, London SW11 3PFTelephone: +44 20 7228 5420Website: melanzana.co.uk. Just don't skip a generous serving of tiramisu to finish. Padella, near Borough Market, is from the guys behind neighbourhood restaurant Trullo in Islington. London has no shortage of Brexit-busting trattorias, cafes and restaurants serving up the country’s best dishes and deli goods, with fine-dining flair or counter-eating conviviality. Get them to share along with a basket of rosemary flatbread, served hot from the woodfire oven. A deli operates during the day, serving fresh pasta and charcuterie, and in the evening (even on Mondays) the intimate space, filled with well-worn wooden chairs and tables, is bustling in the best possible way. Thirteen years since opening, and the deceptively simple brilliance of this Italian food is as vibrant as ever. But as well as pasta, there's lemon sole, pork belly or a leg of lamb with aubergine and courgette. Print + Digital Address: Passo, 80 City Road, London EC1Y 2AS Telephone: +44 20 3883 9377Website: passorestaurant.com. The location might be inauspicious - next to a cash-and-carry and a fried-chicken shop - but this is one of the coolest spots in Stoke Newington's restaurant-packed streets. bancone.co.uk. Skip a sit-down dessert and instead pop across the street to Gelupo (the restaurant's gelato shop) for a scoop of the best hazelnut ice cream in all of London and eat it as you wander the thrumming streets of the West End. 19 Berkeley Street, London W1. In the upper dining room, there’s an olive tree, satisfyingly positioned exactly in the centre of the space. Interiors alone, Frescobaldi does what quality Italian restaurants tend to do: produce high-quality dishes made from fresh, hearty ingredients. Ravioli might be stuffed with a sweet-pea puree; tiny shells of orecchiette are teamed simply with broccoli, chilli and buttery Parmesan; pappardelle might come with a thick ragu. And, of course, there's still the brilliant-value chef's menu for £45, meaning you can rack up the drinks bill from the all-Italian wine list. The brainchild of Jacob Kenedy, who co-authored the seminal and aesthetically pleasing The Geometry Of Pasta, it serves a menu of grilled food and fritti alongside exceptional pastas. From the grill, it’s worth checking out their porchetta, which is so moist as to seem chemically impossible. Address: Franco's, 61 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6LXTelephone: +44 20 7499 2211Website: francosondon.com. Head chef Tom Salt (sometimes visible in the open-plan kitchen) has loosened up the Italian menu without going too bananas. The stalwart deli has been supplying its regulars with handmade pasta and all the trimmings since the 1940s. The original of Russell Norman's Venetian-bacari-inspired restaurants is a great place to grab a bite in Soho. Once you’ve settled in and enjoyed the complimentary bread (Margot is a serious contender for having the best focaccia in London), we recommend starting your meal with the uovo in camicia, which comes with poached eggs, asparagus and a Parmesan “foam” that, once you’ve tried, you’ll want to pour on everything. Address: Pastaio, 19 Ganton St, Carnaby, London W1F 7BN Website: pastaio.london. The seasonally led menu is overseen by Karla Knowles, who came straight from Petersham Nurseries. The impressive menu may overwhelm, but we advise that you start with the crab cakes (wholesome and more-ish), the squid (meaty and refreshing), move onto the beef fillet (tender, chunky and beautiful) or the tagliolini con tartufo nero (worldly), and finish off with the mille feuille (creamy, flaky, and downright delicious). Yes, this is a restaurant that serves its diners decadence before they’ve even picked up the menu, but it’s most certainly not a case of style over substance. The food is good. The bubbling-hot melanzane is hard to beat but there's a long pizza menu too. Like a church, it ushers the local hedgies through its doors again and again. And for desert, it’s hard to resist the preposterously sized lemon meringue pie or cricket-ball-sized profiterole, but you should… plump for the pistachio gelato instead. Chef Massimiliano laquinoto is ex-Shoreditch House, while the extensive wine list was put together by superstar sommelier Zeren Wilson. The spicy pork 'nduja ragu with mafalde pasta has just the right amount of kick and the wonderfully straightforward cacio and pepe is as smooth as can be. Really good. Polish off the evening with the Margot Petit Gâteau, a glazed chocolate mousse which comes with wild berry marmalade, almond dacquoise and a wild berry coulis. Save up to 50% at London restaurants when you book on Tripadvisor, “The food was delicious we chose calamari and, “Glad we tried this lovely little place!”, “Probably one of the best experience in...”, “Always a good choice for a nice dinner on...”, “... with wild boar ragu and a pistacchio, “... are amazing but we were too full to try one- but the, “What a gem this turned out to be! Our personal favourite was the duck and foie gras ravioli: something this ballsy shouldn’t be so moreish, and yet here we are gasping for another plate days later. Welcome to CN Traveller. First up will be your own reflection, bounced back at you by the mirror panelling that lines the restaurant’s mezzanine-meets-lobby. Luckily, London just so happens to be full of experienced Italian chefs, dotted all over the city in kitchens at some of the finest restaurants. For more Italian inspiration, see our pick of where to find the best pizza in London. For pudding, stick to the classics - the boozy tiramisu is one of the best we've had. francoslondon.com, Read more: The lobster pasta is also a show-stopping display of carapace and carbohydrate. Now his food comes with an Italian accent, but fans will recognise his signatures: crispy chicken skins top cheese agnolotti, some of the best desserts in London (including Pump Street chocolate and fennel gelato) are never too sweet, and his love of charcuterie, fermenting, pickling, curing and smoking are present and correct with plates of 20-month-aged prosciutto Marchigiano and black-pepper coppa served with tangy farm pickles. Filter and search through restaurants with gift card offerings. Now you don’t even have to take it home and cook it. Order an antipasto of silky cold cuts, creamy gorgonzola and crunchy crostini, followed by bowls of hand-rolled pasta tossed in punchy ragù, scattered with clams for an excellent spaghetti alle vongole or – our favourite – penne topped with smoky pig’s cheek and cream. Padella is truly one of London’s greatest gems, but it’s also hard to grab a seat at the best of times. The cavernous basement is deeply romantic, the upstairs feels light and familial and the food is universally spectacular. 6 Southwark St, London SE1. There’s not a single bad dish on the menu here, though the gnudi – pillowy, soft and then finished with butter and sage – stand out in a crowded field of masterpieces. Excellent pasta without the queues you’ll find at Padella. There are very few restaurants in London that can claim a more attractive location than Campania, which has spooled across the many rooms of a former dairy just off Columbia Road. Recipes come from owner Avi’s mother, a home cook born in a hilltop town near Perugia, for whom the restaurant is named. There are two tarts for dessert (almond-and-rhubarb or chocolate) - order both. London's Italian-restaurant scene is as varied as the food-loving country itself, from old-school trattorias to new-wave small-plates, and, of course, the best home-made pasta – these are the best Italian restaurants in London. 40-41 Rathbone Place, London W1. When it comes to the menu, we suggest you resist the familiar and opt for dishes that you're less likely to find in other restaurants. For your main course, you’ll be in pasta and pizza heaven. They were right to offer us additional bread for the sauce: this is pasta at its best. Speak to your waiter about choosing a wine to compliment each dish and go with their suggestion – they know their stuff.
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