Sunday, 28 March 2010

Cielo Restaurant Opens in Mayfair, London

Last Thursday, little ol’ FIL (Foodie In London) was delighted to accept an invitation to try it out the swanky new Italian restaurant Cielo in Mayfair.

Cielo, What’s The Deal?: This upmarket pint-sized restaurant and bar has just five or six tables downstairs. Head chef Monserrato Marini offers an Italian menu with Sardinian influences. Upstairs the mezzanine bar area is the perfect playpen for the rich and glamorous and the entrance hall houses changing collections of art.

Cielo, Get the Look: Italian architect Rossella Stina has given Cielo a creamy, dreamy look. In the dining area Philippe Starck chairs, crisp white tablecloths, twinkling candles, mirrors and metal beaded curtains hanging down the back wall all fit together harmoniously.

Cielo, The Food: We were greeted by a flurry of tanned, good looking Italian waiters and escorted to a corner booth table for two next to the bar.

Bar manager Andreas Jansson was at the nearby Cuckoo Club previously so it seemed only polite to kick off with a couple of his Cielo creations. I had a Cielo Bubble – green apple liqueur, elderflower, cloudy apple and Moët & Chandon which was very tasty and mu dining partner aka boyfriend went for the Cielo Negroni - Bombay Sapphire gin, Campari, Martini Fiero and rhubarb syrup.

Bread and foccacia was served the authentic Italian way – with lashings of oil and balsamic vinegar.

To start I had grilled beef carpaccio with rocket and parmesan which was delicious and an absolutely huge portion, while BF had an equally generous plate of scallops with pancetta and avocado sauce. The scallops were large, firm and beautifully cooked and the pancetta was still nicely soft. It was prettily presented and we were still dreaming of the dish on Sunday evening.

We drank a light and lemony Fiano d’Avellino, DOCG, LA Molara, Campania, recommended by the waiter.

After the generous-sized starters, I was a little disheartened by the size of our main courses in comparison although my dish of homemade tortellini with seabass and lemon butter was an absolute triumph albeit a small one. The lemon sauce was wonderfully tangy, herby and fresh and the tortellini was served properly al dente.

BF had a tender piece of lamb fillet wrapped in pancetta stuffed with rosemary and black truffles from Norcia with roasted onions and potatoes. Delicious again although neither of us noticed the truffles.

We finished up with a tiramisu and vanilla panna cotta with Amarena cherries.

Cielo, Toilet Watch: Compared to the uber design-led dining room the toilets are a bit of a let down. There’s a white square china basin, throwaway paper towels and three basic toilet cubicles. Won’t be a memorable trip.

Cielo, The Final Word: If you’ve got cash to splash and you’re looking for a late night drinking spot to impress this is worth a venture. A fully retractable roof and a late night drinking license until 5am are both planned for summer.

Cielo: 3 New Burlington Street
0207 297 2893

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