Eat Here: Sartoria Restaurant, LondonBy Angelica Malin
Looking for somewhere extra special to dine in central London this Christmas? Discover Sartoria – the only restaurant on Saville Row – and the home of elegant dining, sparkling atmosphere and 5* food. Here’s everything you need to know about this Mayfair hotspot:
Expect glamour, sophistication and Italian foodie magic at Mayfair’s Sartoria. With renowned Italian chef Francesco Mazzei leading the kitchen as chef patron, Sartoria serves an all-day dining menu, inspired by Francesco’s home region of Calabria and surrounding areas of Italy. It’s authentic and modern – and, as the only restaurant on Savile Row, it’s perfectly positioned for a spot of festive dining after your Christmas shopping.
You’ll be greeted by plush interiors at the restaurant – think lots of velvet, dark wood and gold – as Sartoria has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment by designer David d’Almada. The restaurant aims to capture the glamour and romance of Italy in its 20th century – and we think it does a pretty great job of it. The restaurant is impressive in scope; boasting a heated terrace, stylish bar, cicchetti counter, two private dining rooms and wine cellar, this Mayfair location oozes glamour.
The food at Sartoria is inspired by Calabria, in Southwest Italy, with a modern touch. Don’t expect super traditional, regional Italian food here – oh no, this is something completely different. Think Southern Italian cuisine, given a Mayfair Makeover. It’s basically an awful lot fancier than the food you’d find in Italy, to match the exclusive postcode. But, do you know what? We’re into it. Sure, it’s not going to tick the box if you’re craving a huge bowl of pasta, washed down with cheap white wine. But if you want an Italian meal that’s a little bit special – a birthday, anniversary, family event – and experience that you’ll remember, Sartoria is certainly it.
The menu is split, in Italian style, into Antipasti, Primi, Secondi and Dolci, which is great if you’d like a taste of everything. We started with a range of antipasti – the salad of Autumn vegetables, pulses puree and soft boiled quail’s egg was light, fresh and inventive. The highlight of this course was the Burrata, served simply with tomato and anchovy – the cheese was super fresh and creamy, the tomatoes ripe and flavoursome, the anchovies adding a little kick. Sometimes, the more simple the dish, the better.
For mains, we opted for one of their homemade pasta dishes, alongside a fish. The pasta options are extensive, from tagliolini with Scottish lobster, to fettuccini with wild boar ragu, and lots of veggie choices too. We tried their famous Cacio e Pepe with black truffle; it’s the most rich, indulgent and delicious pasta you can imagine. You can really taste the quality in the homemade pasta, and the truffle is a totally extra but delightful addition to this traditional Italian pasta dish. You must try it.
Alongside the pasta, we tried the home-cured Black Cod with liquorice, which perhaps wasn’t my favourite dish. The fish was perfectly cooked and very fresh tasting, but I wasn’t sure about the combination of flavours – perhaps liquorice is better off in desserts, after all. Speaking of desserts, we enjoyed the homemade pistachio cake with (you guessed it) pistachio ice cream greatly. The ice cream was a highlight of the whole meal, actually – incredibly flavoursome, rich and nutty, and just the most perfect texture. I would come back for the ice cream alone.
You’ll find a very extensive wine list in the main restaurant, featuring lots of Italian rose, red, white and Champagne. They do lots of wine by the half bottle, too, which is great if you’re wanting to try something. In the Libare Bar, you’ll find more cocktails and spirits – at the moment, they have a festive partnership with Champagne Laurent-Perrier, with seasonal canapés to enjoy alongside your bubbles. The bar is a great place to come and watch the world go by, if you’re in the mood for people watching.
We had a great experience at this Mayfair restaurant. Sartoria is the ideal restaurant for an extra special night out; it’s classy, elegant and will impress anyone you take. It suits most moods; a proper meal, a festive drink on the terrace or nibbles at the bar. Come here for the pasta, stay for the exclusive vibe, we say.