Osteria dell'Angolo - Restaurant Review -

What are the signs of fine dining restaurant?
Thick table clothes (preferably whiter than white), complementary amuse-bouche to heighten a sense of hospitality and one which never fail to prove that you are about to dine in a fancy establishment is, a waiter with a crumb knife.

Osteria Dell'Angolo displays them all, you know as soon as you enter the dining rooms that this is going to be an Italian experience with a difference.

Prior to our visit, I was told that "this spring, Osteria Dell'Angolo's Head Chef, Maximiliano Vezzi, had put his Neapolitan enthusiasm into a brand new menu".

Amuse bouche: Fried pizza dough balls, Osteria Dell'Angolo
Amuse bouche: Fried pizza dough balls
I am not familiar with Italian food south of Rome and even then, the little I know of Roman food dates back to my early 20s when I decided to travel to every single place of worship during their biggest religious festivals.

I wanted  to make sure that I had a comprehensive picture, so that I could put the matter of the existence of god to rest and live the rest of my life as a fundamentalist atheist. I started with Rome at Easter. I do not remember any culinary experience but I do remember wondering, "What what is  all the fuss about?."
Listening carefully to the solicitous waiter's explanations, my attention was caught by the magic words "Italian speciality" followed by Steak Tartare.
Hmmm, who would have thought?

Steak Tartare is usually associated with Paris. Italian Steak Tartare made as much sense as being on St Peter's square at Easter. But since raw meat is a popular delicacy in many countries, why not?.

When the slate arrived, Tartare had no egg which obviously is the "Italian way," served just with pepper, salt, Parmesan shavings and olive oil to enhance the taste of the beef.

Italian or French if a restaurant serves steak tartare, it has to be the finest of beef and so it was. Absolutely delicious.

He might have been thinking along the same lines, as he chose to go regional with one of the new signature dishes, Scialatielli from Sorrento with fresh crab meat and grilled courgettes as a main course.

Scialatielli from Sorrento with fresh crab meat and grilled courgettes
Scialatielli is, "A speciality from the Neapolitan coast, this is a type of short tagliatelle simply made with high quality flour, water and salt, once only served at special celebrations." The combination was truly delicious which is high praise from someone who doesn't eat sea-food.

It was now obvious why this restaurant had been voted TopTable "best restaurant" recently. More over many of the ingredients used are cerfied as DOP that includes Parma Ham, Pienza's Black Pecorino and an extra sign of quality, artisan breads freshly baked: focaccia, grissini....

Selection of Italian cured meat with mix olives from Apulia

Cooking with squid ink is popular in latin countries, among the treasured dishes of Italy served here Black-ink Tagliolini with “Cornish” squid and cherry tomatoes was my main course choice.

This plate has all the aroma associated with the Mediterranean, close your eyes and you could almost feel the spray from the sea, well...almost. It may have been help by the other customers who were on that night all Italian, greatly adding authenticity to our meal.

Starters are priced between £9 and £12 and pasta dishes don't exceed £13 and other fish and meat mains ranging between £16 and £25, all somewhat reasonable for a restaurant in the heart of Westminster. ‘Prix Fixe’ set menu at £16.50 for two courses or £21.00 for three courses is served at lunchtime and à la carte menu is available for both lunch and dinner’.
The wine list is a different matter, we spotted a “Masseto”, Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, 2000 at £800.00 having said this, A bottle of Borgo Selene, Villa Tonino from Sicily costs £19.50. Our waiter recommanded a Pinot Grigio“Russiz Superiore”, Marco Felluga, Friuli 2010/11 priced at £57.00. "Friuli-Venezia Giulia's reputation as a wine region essentially depends on a select group of quality-conscious, small-scale winemakers – large-scale production is not on the agenda here." And the quality was obvious.

I probably wouldn't have choosen to walk in the Osteria Dell' Angolo and I would be wrong. He should not have order the chocolate mousse, that's better made the "French way" on the other hand in France expresso is rubbish compared.
The Osteria Dell'Angolo with its political elite customers doesn't need Pebble Soup's approval but judged on our experience that evening I would gladly give it and even go as far as booking a trip south of Rome to taste more contemporary Neapolitan dishes.
In short:
Service was spot on. 
Top quality ingredients shone through dishes expertly executed.
Our choice of dishes was good value for money
Wine list is superb but tend to be expensive.
The clientele was entertaining and there was certainly a lot of good natured atmosphere.
Our thanks to the Osteria Dell'Angolo where we were guests for the evening, I wasn't asked to write a positive review, all opinions in this review are strictly mine. 
Address: 47 Marsham St, London
Phone:020 3268 1077

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