Under the Michelin-starred direction of top Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli, Refettoria knows what it’s doing when it comes to good, satisfying Mediterranean food. Fundamentally a hotel restaurant (Refettorio is located within the Crowne Plaza Hotel), the interiors and the menu are much more than that, with homemade pasta made fresh each day, a rich menu of diverse choice and over 100 Italian wines to choose from it feels much more like a restaurant in its own right.
The interior is dark and moody, perfect if you’ve had the chance to leave the kids at home for a rare date night. A long refectory-style table makes the focal point of the restaurant but there are various smaller tables which have a more intimate feel, as well as two areas for larger groups, Il Salone and Le Terrazza.
Working with the season, head chef Alessandro Bay creates fresh, authentic dishes –Italian home cooking with a modern, Michelin twist. To start we had cured neck of pork served as a Carpaccio with a rocket salad – fresh, full of flavour and a nice change from the way the Italian dish is usually done. Refettorio’s menu also has a great selection of Italian cold meats and world cheeses which can be ordered as a starter – perfect if you’re a big cheese fan but can’t face it after dessert. The mains stuck to the theme of rustic and seasonal with classics such as succulent rack of lamb or chargrilled swordfish.
The dessert menu sticks to tried and tested favourites – the tiramisu and the panna cotta were both excellent and ideal if you’re being indecisive. The wine list is vast, specialising in over 100 Italian wines to suit the rustic dishes compiled by the restaurants sommelier, Antonio Nunzet.
As Refettorio is based in The City, lunchtimes are bursting with suits and business meetings, but come evening and especially on the weekends it’s the perfect setting for a romantic evening, some peace and a glass of prosecco.
Starters are priced at around £10, mains £17 and up and pasta dishes from £12.
Book online at www.refettorio.com
Refettorio, 19 New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6 DB