Classic italian fair in a swish setting
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Italian
Address : 20 Chesham Place, Knightsbridge & Belgravia, London, SW1X 8HQ, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.ilpampero.com
Opening Times : Mon - Sat: 12 - 3pm; 6 - 10.30pm; Sun: 12 - 3pm, 6 - 10pm
Closest Tube : Sloane Square
London has witnessed a spate of savvy Italian openings, and Il Pampero is the latest, tucked in the underbelly of Belgravia‘s super swanky Hari Hotel on a quiet corner of Chesham Place. On a Friday evening the restaurant was bumping with a clientele that was well-heeled and easy on the eyes. The restaurant is dimly lit and seductive, with a large island bar occupying the centre of the restaurant, circumscribed with tall stools perfect for a preprandial perch.
The walls are vesper green with matching dark booths that are all about clandestine comfort, whilst the tessellated black-and-white retro flooring marries off the traditional with the contemporary. As we sipped champagne from coupette glasses, waiters began to arrive wearing crisp white jackets, bearing dishes prepared by Claudio Covino, who formerly plied his trade at the Michelin-starred Locanda Locatelli. An array of bread came to the table including squid ink grissini, smoked breadsticks and ineffably fluffy focaccia which bedded down nicely with a selection of salumi.
A bottle of Cantine Cellaro Grillo ‘Luma‘ was opened to accompany our starters. A carpaccio di capesante was a masterwork. Thinly sliced king scallop was accompanied by an airy avocado mousse with root vegetable chips on the side. Suffice to say, it was brilliant. Our pasta courses were similarly enlightened. Black ink ravioli was imbued with a mousse of whipped cod, and then served with a tomato and cured mullet roe sauce. The cacio e pepe was a sight to behold. Fresh tonnarelli was plopped into an enormous wheel of parmesan, then blended tableside with roman pecorino and black pepper.
For our main we split grilled sea bream with sides of purple sautéed broccoli and butter and garlic spinach, and wrapped up our meal with a pair of beautiful desserts. A plum bakewell tart with rum sabayon was certainly good, however the tiramisu chef style won the evening. It featured a layer of sponge propping up a surprisingly light tranche of mascarpone, with a few bittersweet drops of coffee poured over. The texture combination proved remarkably well-balanced, a smattering of nuts and shards of shortbread adding crunch.