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
Refettorio, the other Locatelli place, is as fine a combination of style and quality as youâll currently find in London.
Stepping through from the hotel lobby, Refettorio is a warm and welcoming. Itâs achingly stylish, yet it becomes clear, within seconds, that this is not a victory of style over substance. This is all about the food and the drink.
On the left, a counter containing the cheeses and cold meats that make up the (fantastically named) âConviviumâ section on the menu. On the right, a selection of huge tables â think architectâs office â and more normal sized furniture. Further down, a large bar with a decent sized selection of wines (all Italian) by the glass. And dotted around, you have a group of exceptionally friendly and passionate staff to guide you through the menu.
Assistance is useful as, simply put, there is too much you will want to eat. This is not Italian food dressed up in bells and whistles: this is hearty fare with flavours that sing.
A selection of mountain cheeses â Castel Magno, Sola Mista and other cheeses youâve probably never heard of â came served in with a little bowl of honey, an exquisite combination. We also ordered a stunning ânon-porkâ selection of meats, featuring Speck dâAnatra (duck), petto dâoca (goose) and a couple of beef dishes. This was accompanied by bread and oil, a huge bowl of fried zucchini and some crisp, sweet baby beetroot. Simple, hearty and the sort of social meal itâs impossible to beat.
Pasta was of similar quality, with the âal funghiâ â featuring excellent fresh mushrooms â just edging out the still excellent pork ragout. Coffee and Tiramisu were also exquisite.
If there is a finer testimony to the benefits of superbly â yet simply â prepared fresh, well-sourced ingredients in London, I am yet to find it. Dazzlingly good.