Another “Mayfair” Italian..
There are many Italian restaurants in Mayfair. (Don’t ask me why). There are many “Burlington” streets, gardens and places in Mayfair. (Don’t ask me why). And putting the two together it took me and The Other Bib 10-15 odd minutes to find this new site of world’s renown Cipriani restaurant in Mayfair. Cipriani, if you do not know, dates back to the 30′s and has its root in Venice. Its first establishment was known as Harry’s Bar. After decades, Harry’s Bar metamorphosed not only into Italy’s national landmark but also a luxury global brand of hospitality. Therefore, old-world charm, a Titanic-like interior with glistening wood veneer, a doorman and a hell lot of jolly, waistcoated FOH to fulfill your deepest desires are expected..
Italian. Venetian. Unnecessarily big bread basket. Big price for both food and wine (as one would expect in Mayfair). (Relatively) Big portion on a medium-sized looking plate. Burrata served with Sauteed Zucchini and toppled with shredded basil lacked texture contrast and acidity to score success. Despite the cheese’s notable freshness, the dish was just all too gooey and basil-y. Raviolo of Ricotta, Egg and White Truffle was not only an extraterrestrially expensive dish but also it landed solo on the plate as if a flying saucer. The firm ricotta filling was pleasant enough and the hidden yolk that burst at the first slicing added some excitement to the eating. The downside was that the truffle did not smell much and I was not keen about a ditch of butter underneath.
Mixed receptions for the mains. The Other Bib’s Ragu with tagliarelle was decent but could do with more meaty depth. My Fegato alla Veneziana ticked all the boxes. I liked the very well cooked, well herb-ed and well pepper-ed veal liver slices. Its robustness was in fine tune with the stripes of sweet, gently stewed onions. Very comforting dish. I can come back for this. The diamond-shaped fried polenta could have been hotter and more crispy.
The joy of the meal was the desserts. Made-to-order ice cream (took 15 min) was this gargantuan bowl of wonderfully soft Fiordilatte oozing very milky perfume. The crushed almond and buiscuit as well as the deliciously dark chocolate melt proved ideal companions. I also asked for a slice of Pannatone to go with my ice cream. The BEST pannatone I’ve ever eaten. Spongy with slight elasticity, juicy raisins and subtle but delectable citrus-y note.
Among many Italian restaurants in Mayfair, Downtown will never be my first pick. Acceptable meal, highly acceptable service, but too many faults for the quite high price. That said, I have to give the FOH two big thumbs up. The service was not at all discriminatory. No judgement passed on how we appeared. No seating hierarchy (like at Delaunay for example). Oh and which “Burlington” is this place located exactly?
Just look for a small alley next to Issey Miyake.
GO FOR: Ice cream.
DOWNTOWN CIPRIANI LONDON
15 New Burlington Place
Tel. 020 3056 1001