Grown up Italian at Cafe Murano
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Italian
Address : 33 St. James's Street, St James's, London, SW1A 1HD, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.cafemurano.co.uk
Opening Times : Mon-Sat 12pm-3pm & 5.30pm-11pm, Sun 11.30am-4pm
Closest Tube : Green Park
The days of Gordon Ramsay as the great white hope of British food may have passed, but the legacy lives on in his protégées, particularly Marcus Wareing, Jason Atherton and Angela Hartnett, who have honed the craft of producing critically-acclaimed, eternally-booked eateries across London. Where Wareing is the architect of fine-dining chapels and Atherton seems to be supplanting Ramsay as the rising emperor of London‘s foodie scene, Hartnett‘s cooking was always a bit more, warm, understated, and prepared with both heart and precision. This is patently the case with her newest venture, Café Murano, nestled in the quiet gentility of St James‘s. The dining room, designed by Russell Stage Studios, is an exercise in minimalism. An ivory-hued, marble-topped bar runs half the length of the restaurant, which is monochromatically white with art deco frosted windows, a rusticated chandelier with cut-glass pendant lighting and an outsized mirror with distressed bronze-painted frame. The room channels one‘s attention to the cooking, which is homey Lombardian cuisine at its best, updated for the contemporary London palate. Rosemary encrusted focaccia served with Planeta olive oil, ostensibly the world‘s best, was like sharing a kiss on the threshold of someone‘s house - an indicator of good things to follow - and follow they did. Truffle arancini were risotto balls at their best, a crisp exterior crumbled into a creamy center. This was obliterated, however, by an antipasto of succulent warm octopus with chickpeas al dente in tomato sauce, gracile lettuce leaves and an impeccable pesto. It was the best dish of the evening and the best octopus dish of the year. We rounded off our experience by sharing a slate of oozing cheeses and a boozy tiramisu, alongside a pair of strong espressos. Café Murano is grown-up dining that doesn‘t disappoint.