Impressing a recently inducted City boy isn’t really as easy as one would think. When it came to taking out my banker cousin for dinner, it turned out he had already eaten in half of London’s top restaurants in the few months since starting his job. So much for spending cuts amongst our financiers! So I decided to take a slightly different tack. The venue needed to be impressive, but instead of picking a predictable Japanese or a fancy celeb-haunt, I decided on a far more traditional restaurant experience in the form of Babbo.
Located in the heart of Mayfair on Albemarle Street, Babbo offers traditional Italian cuisine within an elegant yet intimate setting. Babbo’s interior combines Mayfair elegance with the traditional warmth and old-fashioned charm expected from a family-run Italian restaurant. Clusters of framed family photos adorn the walls alongside a selection of vintage wines showcased next to the wooden staircase. The all-Italian staff have a real family approach too, with occasional banter and a genuine passion livening up the relaxed atmosphere.
Head chef Douglas Santi, has drawn from his experiences cooking around the world to create a regional Italian menu using fresh Italian produce. Delicious starters include Gratinated scallops with razor clams and impressive plates of Italian meats. Italian classics like Lobster risotto are also well executed with sweet chunks of shellfish. Main courses include a variety of home made pasta dishes including Lasagne with meat ragout, Douglas’ signature dish, created from a recipe over 100 years, as well as Rack of lamb with almond crust and a somewhat chewy and disappointing ‘Chianina’ steak. To complete what can easily become one of those deceptively long and wine fuelled meals are a selection of Italian desserts including Torta di mela -an apple tart with pine nuts and caramel sauce.
Cuisine type: Italian
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £85
39 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4JQ
Tel: 0203 205 1099