I think Cecconi’s is my favourite Italian restaurant in London. The classic Mayfair establishment is a slick operation with polished staff, a buzzy central bar (complete with hanging hams and good-looking Italians perching for a drink), and comfortable seating ideal for people watching if you nab a spot by the window.
I visited on Saturday with one of my favourite and most generous of dining companions (and bearer of a healthy credit card) – Mr H.
We popped in after seeing the brilliant Van Gogh exhibition at the Royal Academy (go if you can get tickets). Our time was so enjoyable it turned into a long, boozy lunch, which resulted in unnecessary purchases at Regent Street’s Habitat on the way home. Oops.
I started with a delicious dish of gnocchi with butternut squash puree and Mr H had a rather decadent potato soup with truffle shavings.
For main course I went for the waistline option of rare seared salmon, artichoke, fennel and quail eggs. It was fresh and lovely but tasted a little bit too on the healthy side. I would have preferred a bit more of a lively dressing on it.
Mr H. had, without a doubt, the largest piece of rib-eye steak I have ever seen served in a restaurant, which came served with purple sprouting broccoli and a side order of spinach. The piece of meat was so large he was defeated before he reached the end and that is the first time I’ve ever seen any man not finish a steak!
To accompany, we drank our way through a couple of glasses of Pinot Grigio and then a nice bottle of Vermentino di Sardegna 'Crabilis', Pala, Sardinia Italy, 2008.
Moving on to desserts, we indulged in chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream and apple tart with custard cream. Bellissimo!
Toilet watch: Fresh lillies, a posh marble basin, Cowshed hand wash and hand cream and individual towels.
5a Burlington Gardens
London W1S 3EP
T: (0)20 7434 1500