Semplice

Tucked away off New Bond Street lies a restaurant that is an unusual triumph of substance over hype. The owners claim 'to source the freshest, finest Italian ingredients directly from small regional Italian producers, such as fassone beef, salume, cheeses, olive oil, coffee and wines – with over 60 per cent of products coming direct from Italy'. This is not only perfectly articulated, but also clearly true.

On his heavily starred CV chef/proprietor Marco Torri can tick off time spent with Gualtiero Marchesi, Alain Senderens and Ferran Adrià at El Bulli. He also worked at Locanda Locatelli from whence comes energetic and charming manager Giovanni Baldino.

The menu is supple and inventive. Risotto Milanese (always present) is exquisite and reason enough to visit; vitello tonnato is unusually good; and Fassone beef extraordinarily tender. An extensive Italian wine list offers best value in the £45-£55 range, but beware of over-imbibing as delivery of main courses can be slow – albeit worth the wait – causing one Page One director to be gently 'helped down' from the table top that was not to be danced on. JC

£56
Lunch Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm
Dinner Mon-Sat 7-10.30pm

Bar Trattoria Semplice across the way is cheaper but infinitely less sublime

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