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Paul Bell

Locatelli revisited

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OK slag me off if you want but I've been through ten pages of this bleedin message board and I'm starting this as a new topic.

Went to Locatelli for the third time on Saturday. Both previous times we have come away having enjoyed it but feeling something is not quite right, having been again I think it is the atmosphere of the restaurant rather than the food, it is perhaps that the restaurant space and the service don't quite match the style of food, which varies from simple Italian to 'modern London Italian' (Peter behave). The restaurant is more 'fine dining' and formal than the food is, I prefer sitting in Zafferano for example.

The food as always was very good Italian (I confess I don't quite get comments describing Locatelli as not an Italian restaurant, it does simple antipasti, simple pastas with tomato sauce or red mullet and olives (as you would get in Liguria) and main courses such as chargrilled lamb with limited contorni. Granted there are also dishes which owe more to Locatelli having been in London for ten years (or however long) and the desserts are definitely not Italian).

For those interested we had:

Sformata of potatoes, tallegio and panchetta (good a mixture of layered potatoes and creamy tallegio cheese with some panchetta in the middle)

Pasta with red mullet and olives (very good, a light dish with lots of red mullet)

Ravioli of guinea fowl with marjoram (enjoyable the guinea fowl was possibly slightly overpowered by the sauce, a pheasant version eaten previously stood up to this better).

Chargrilled chicken (same as always, very enjoyable)

Involtini of pork (this was very good, the pork was was rolled up to make very dense sausages, stuffed with herbs)

Tart of the day (sponge base, custard, raspberries and blackberries)

Spiced bread with a duo of chocolate mousses, rose petal sorbet and rapberries (the mousses were excellent as was the sorbet, the spiced bread was actually a couple of triangles of spiced tuile which was OK but nothing special.

the service was much slower than previous visits, which had matched the more usual hour and a half for an Italian restaurant, this time we were there for two and a half hours, which is not a complaint just markedly different from before.

Overall we really enjoyed the food without having the 'stunning' dishes such as you might get at The Capital etc, then again it is a totally different style of food. I suspect we will end up going here again and again, as it is one of the few good Italian restaurants in London and one of the even fewer open on a Saturday lunchtime.

Paul

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Good to see a recent review, I'm at Locatelli next Friday (coincidentallly, Capital this Friday).


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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OK slag me off if you want .....

That Paul Bell, he's rubbish! He comes round here, starting new threads, and he knows there's already one about Locatelli, he just can'be bothered to find it. I mean, how lazy? And then he just moans! Some people!

(How's that?) :biggrin:

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That's a pretty low-calibre slag, Andy. More of a Moderator's slag than a real, gutsy, manly, Majumdarian slag. I know you can do better, because I have a few of your previous efforts framed and hanging on the west wall of my toilet.

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OK slag me off if you want

You can't spell taleggio. You dolt! Or pancetta. You buffoon! And I've never been to Locatelli and you have three times now and it's not fair. :angry:

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Friday's edition of The Guardian notes the following about Locatelli: "Two diners were 'held hostage' at his restaurant after refusing to pay pounds 30 for the chef's special starter at Locanda Locatelli. David and Gabrielle Silver were advised to try out the spaghetti with white truffle, but only learned later what the size of the bill would be. They were physically prevented from leaving the premises until they coughed up."

I'm uncertain when this episode occurred, because the article in which it was recounted also describes certain "aged" GR and MPW incidents. I'd have to say that I have little sympathy for the described diners. Dishes with white truffles are bound to be more expensive. If the price of the special appetizer were significant to them, they could have considered inquiring prior to taking in the dish, no? :blink:

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no-one's posted about this resturant for a while.....so here goes.

it was first visit to locando locatelli and i had very high hopes. i cook a lot of italian food at home so i was really looking forward to trying "high end" italian and seeing what makes sardines with panzanella worth 16 GBP.

the answer is nothing, really.

while i left feeling that i had eaten some quite good food, i felt the 80GBP per head price tag was steep. and we only had one bottle of wine from the cheaper end of a long and expensive list. we would have drank more, but the meal never really settled into a pattern and we were both rushed and ignored in equal parts. to give you an idea, we were there for 3 hours, had starters, pasta, mains and then just coffee. i think our main problem stemmed from the fact that we asked to order our third course once we'd eaten our pasta and ended up with an almost hour long wait.

we ate:

squid, followed by tagilatelle with kid ragout (pasta too al dente for my taste) and sardines with panzanella and beef carpaccio, spaghetti with octopus (a buxom wench of a pasta dish that i wish i'd ordered) and pidgeon with lentils. coffee came with 2 chocolate truffles and perfect macarons. there was nothing here that i can't cook at home, apart from the macarons, which frustrated me.

that said, i have an annoying habit of ordering the wrong thing.

i'd probably go back, but really left feeling that i would have liked a few more surprises and a bit more adventure (from myself and the kitchen)

one final note, they did have spaghetti with white truffles as a starter and announced the price (45GBP) are truffles that much more expensive this year?


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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i'd probably go back, but really left feeling that i would have liked a few more surprises and a bit more adventure (from myself and the kitchen)

Well, not wishing to re-run an old Italian food thread but are adventure and surprises what people are looking for from an Italian restaurant? I don't think so.

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I took a friend a few months ago. I ordered the calf’s foot salad – she the langoustine. Her’s was OK – nothing special. Mine was really offensive – chicken nuggets flattened & squared but with much less taste. Accompanying salad didn’t have any oil in the dressing – just vinegar. Couldn’t eat more than a few mouthfuls.

Next – pasta – her’s was the goat pasta: rancid. Mine was the board bean & rocket - looked great – zero taste. We didn’t finish either & they were very unamused & a big fight resulted over this. Essentially the greasy little maire-d said that it was our fault for not appreciating their food.

One to avoid.

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i'd probably go back, but really left feeling that i would have liked a few more surprises and a bit more adventure (from myself and the kitchen)

Well, not wishing to re-run an old Italian food thread but are adventure and surprises what people are looking for from an Italian restaurant? I don't think so.

i just mean i want more than i get when i cook at home....

metrogusto in islington seems to manage adventurous italian food and valvona & crolla in edinburgh had better ingredients.


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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one final note, they did have spaghetti with white truffles as a starter and announced the price (45GBP) are truffles that much more expensive this year?

Yup - apparently the heatwave has decimated stocks this year.

Not that they'd use it as an excuse to bump up price again, of course... ;-)

Did you see them - were they fresh? Have white truffles started already?

cheerio

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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Did you see them - were they fresh? Have white truffles started already?

cheerio

J

no, neither saw nor smelled them. we had a not very good table though, slightly way from the body of the restaurant.


Edited by tarka (log)

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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Next – pasta – her’s was the goat pasta: rancid.

Actually rancid as in the dictionary definition of "rank smell or taste" or is that poetic license for "not very nice"? If the food you were offered was actually rancid then I would have thought you would have had very strong grounds indeed to get the bill reduced or even not to pay. It seems extraordinary to me that a restaurant of the standing of LL would allow rancid food past its kitchen doors.

Did you notice anyone else in the restaurant complaining that night? If one dish was rancid then there would be a high probablility of a whole batch being similarly bad.

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one final note, they did have spaghetti with white truffles as a starter and announced the price (45GBP) are truffles that much more expensive this year?

WOW! Last year that dish was £30!!!! :shock: It was fantastic.


Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Actually rancid as in the dictionary definition of "rank smell or taste" or is that poetic license for "not very nice"?

I didn't mean to imply that the food was off or badly cooked - just tasted & smelled awful.

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Went again last night (having staggered the distance from Claridges bar in my four inch heels...)

Appear to have fallen into an alternative universe en route, because this simply cannot be the same restaurant Blind Lemon Higgins visited.

Dishes were spot on, with particular highlights including: coppocola (sp.? a pigs neck ham..) with balsamic pickled onions; calves brain prepared two ways (deep fried in a fantastically light crumbed coated and roasted in pancetta); a very flavoursome rabbit; fantastic chocolate ice cream; and a saffron fondant with milk ice cream

Indeed in these post-BSE hysteria days it scored full marks in my book just for having the nerve to put calves brain on the menu.

This is the sixth or seventh time I’ve been (lucky me) and it has been consistently excellent. Service too has been friendly (in a non-greasy kind of way) and professional.

Guess it just goes to demonstrate the diversity of views e-gullet generates. And hooray for that.

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can someone give me lessons in what to order please? that sounds so much nicer than my choices from the same menu.

grrrr.


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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Never been, live up norf - remember! But did to Restaurant Show at Olympia, watched Georgio make fresh pasta with wild mushrooms, wild sea bass etc with, yes you guessed it, fresh white truffle. He shaved absolutely loads of the gorgeous stuff onto his creamy pasta and then invited the over-excited audience to indulge themselves. Without a second thought, I greedily stuffed as much of the yummy, otherwise ridiculously expensive dish, down my gullet (creamy buttery olive oil spilling over my face and down my neck - but I didn't give a damn) without a hint of embarrassed. It was define and cost me nowt! (He’s now my friend!)

PS Thyme, Clapham Common, the night before, was also fab - from the test tube of cod mash & frothy parsley cream to the oozing matured cheese and dessert red, it was delectable. The service was also nee on perfect amazing (even if the decor was not quite Club Gascon). Are us Northerners just more easily pleased?

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Appear to have fallen into an alternative universe en route, because this simply cannot be the same restaurant Blind Lemon Higgins visited.

If they've sorted themselves out - great - I hate to see a restaurant with potential fail. And normally I'm more than happy to give any restaurant a second chance (I was brave enough to face the awful John Burton Race twice). However, the entire roman army couldn't drag me back there because of that offensvie little twat: the maitre'd.

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From the Borsa del Tartufo's quotation of 25 September:

Summer truffles, EUR 450 per kg, price expected to rise

White Alba truffles, EUR 2750 per kg, price expected to rise, especially as the Alba truffle festival draws near.

See http://www.albatartufi.com; you can subscribe to their e-mail service for regular updates.


Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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I hate to see a restaurant with potential fail.

I've been to Locatelli just the once and whilst it didn't thrill me skinny, the idea that it might fail is really a notion from out of left field.

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