Ristorante Frescobaldi review: A well curated wine bar tempered by some tame Italian fine dining

 
Steve Hogarty
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Opened in November 2014, this is the first UK restaurant of those world-renowned purveyors of grapejuice, the Frescobaldi family. They’ve been turning out Tuscan wines since 1308, and their bottles are said to have been enjoyed by everyone from Renaissance visionaries to Popes. The glass-fronted wine cellar by the entrance is a statement of intent: wine pairings and Italian fine dining are the order of the day.

WHERE? 15 New Burlington Place, Mayfair, W1S 2HX. Just off Savile Row in Mayfair, in the very tidy-looking New Burlington Place. Murals adorn the walls of the dining room and ivy covers the high ceilings, almost as if you’ve tumbled back in time into an unsuspecting visconte’s sun-kissed villa.

WHO? Roberto Reatini heads up the kitchen here. He previously worked at Belgravia’s Zafferano, which dealt in similarly sophisticated Italian cuisine. Before that – seeing as we’re running through his CV – he was senior sous chef at Shoreditch House.

ORDER THIS... While my date and I valiantly sampled swathes of the extensive à la carte menu, we never quite landed on a stand-out dish here. Sweetly marinated strips of Tuscan black Angus under a tiny pile of lentils makes for a curious pairing in an antipasti, and the Dover sole with lemon and butter sauce isn’t an interesting enough bit of fish to stand alone as it’s served. Far better is the grilled black seabream, and the black autumn truffle topped tagliolini. They’re understated flavours crying out for a wine pairing to make them spark, which makes it all the stranger that we weren’t offered a drinks menu until I asked for one. Perhaps Mr. Frescobaldi was out.

BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? The space is huge, with generously spaced tables and plenty of room to get business done. The downstairs bar is well-suited to more private meetings, too.

NEED TO BOOK? The dining room was ticking over nicely at 1pm, though quiet enough that you could walk in and expect a table. Book by calling 020 3693 3435 or visiting frescobaldi.london.

THE VERDICT... A competent, borderline uninteresting menu that won’t be blowing anyone’s socks across the room. The appeal is the by-the-glass Frescobaldi grapes, and the biggest flavours are to be found in the wine list.

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