Best local Indian Restaurant in Essex 2014
One of the finest Indian restaurants in Essex Caraway Indian Brasserie, in Gants Hill, has won the prestigious Best Local Indian Restaurant Award in the Restaurant Guides
The Hart Brothers
The Hart Brothers, who have made Quo Vadis and Fino into such success stories
11-13 Frith Street
London W1V 5TS
Phone 0207 494 3491
Fax 0207 437 3091
Average price per head inc. 1/2 bottle of wine: Â£25-30
Bertorelli's has managed to acquire a decent reputation for Italian-inspired food and unmistakeably French-style service. But now that Bertorelli's has effectively become a chain restaurant by opening a third venture in Frith Street, many foodies have become suspicious.
With predictable wooden floors, steel handrails, and a Soho clientele in uniform black, one could be forgiven for dismissing it out of hand. After all, there's something slightly Conran about the latest Bertorelli's in Soho, which lacks the cream-carpeted bonhomie of Floral Street, or the integrity of the Charlotte Street branch. But this shouldn't put you off! Beneath the bland Soho exterior lies a restaurant with a sound modern Italian menu and a superb international wine list.
We managed to get a table on the street-facing terrace just outside the main
restaurant, which proved to be less pleasurable than anticipated - you are likely to be approached by about three people per hour, all asking for spare change or a bite of your breast of duck with caramelised aubergines. Given the choice, offer them the money - the duck is perfection itself and shouldn't be shared with anybody. My friend had spaghetti Bolognese, which was delicious if slightly unbalanced - too much sauce for the pasta, perhaps. The desserts looked interesting and well-presented, although the cheeseboard is certain to disappoint, consisting of a few shavings of parmegiano and a dollop of chutney. Opt instead for the bottle of their excellent dessert wine with Ameretti biscuits - a pricey option, but well worth it if you have a sweet tooth.
This is Frith Street's latest restaurant and it will probably succeed not due the innovativeness of its menu or atmosphere (neither of which are particularly exciting), but for the high-regard of the Bertorelli name and its emphasis on quality and reliability. Bertorelli's on Frith Street is an excellent venue for entertaining business clients - but for romance and Italian verve, Soho can
do much better.