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Piazza Italiana

38 Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AY
Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick
Published on September 22, 2021
www.piazzaitaliana.co.uk

Piazza Italiana

I am constantly amazed by the variety of dining experiences that are available in London. One day street food, the next, utter grandeur. Piazza Italiana is definitely of the latter category. It is stunning.

British Linen Bank (later Bank of Scotland) was built in 1902. Now the grade II listed building has been done up by B3 Designers. Much respect has been paid to the original features. Corinthian columns, floor to ceiling arched windows, wood panelling and a spectacular porcelain (I’m guessing) ceiling. It’s all softened beautifully with velvet drapes and sheer linen and modernized with contemporary furnishings, lighting and marble. There is exceptional private dining space both downstairs and in the mezzanine.

The food absolutely lives up to the ambience. So does the price tag but that’s to be expected in such surroundings. Piazza Italiana was born in in the historical district of Moscow then launched in Riga – Victor Ravdive, the founder of the owners, Resto-Rātors group, is Latvian. He and the Sicilian-born brand chef Remo Mazzuca created the menu. It’s extensive, based on classics from all over Italy. You can have a pizza for 12 quid or you can dine on all manner of delicacies. We did not have pizza!

We started with bubbles. Sommelier Daniele Arcangeli has created a very impressive wine list. Archangel indeed!!! A 2015 Ferrari Trento Doc “Perlé” (£11) is an elegant Blanc de Blanc that easily competes with Champagne. There is a huge selection of wines by the glass from £7 to £70! Tastings of 25ml are also available. Bottles range from £31 to well into 4 figures.

A lovely selection of bread came with a trio of dips, sweet red pepper, tapenade and herb. Creamy girolles on fried layered potatoes (£16) was as rich as the decor. Pure cream, it just stopped my heart! Yellowfin tuna tartare with avocado (£6) lightened things up a bit. Excellent quality, the sweet fish was seasoned perfectly and served with delicate crisp toast. With these a Pietracupa Greco di Tufo was a lovely pairing. Floral and complex with a mineral finish.

Our pasta course brought a bit of theater to the table, performed beautifully by our waiter. Tagliolini with truffle sauce (£22 + £1.50 per gram of summer truffle) is “spun” in a wheel of pecorino. Pasta, cream, cheese and truffle. Pure heaven. And 6 hours at the gym to get it off me!

Slow cooked ox cheek with creamy polenta and red wine sauce (£22) was another classic executed perfectly. The meat fell apart, the polenta was light and velvety and the sauce sublime. With this, a classic Bordeaux blend with a touch of Sangiovese paired very well.

Our first dessert was the only miss of the evening. Lemon cake was all but devoid of citrus and the accompanying raspberry sorbet tasted of unripened fruit. Thankfully, a tiramisu more than made up for it. The classic pudding added layer upon layer of coffee taste, culminating in the best coffee ice cream ever. The presentation too was flawless.

My next meal brought me right back to earth. Chile con carne… and not a truffle in sight!

Piazza Italiana

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