Flavour of the Week: Cafe Murano
Angela Hartnett's Italian techniques and seasonal British ingredients are a match made in paradiso at Covent Garden's Cafe Murano
What's the draw
Like its big sister, the Michelin-starred Murano in Mayfair, Cafe Murano focuses on Angela Hartnett's brand of Italian small plates, served up in a huge, beautiful room slap-bang in the middle of theatre land.
What to drink
It's not a cocktail bar, so you won't find a huge drinks list or a stacked back-bar. Instead, a few Italian classics like the No. 33 (with Campari, Tanqueray gin, Martini Fiero vermouth and Antica Formula) make up the permanent cocktail menu, along with five or six rotating seasonal cocktails, too. Wine-wise, you're in good hands with one of the biggest Italian-only lists in London.
What to eat
Antipasti, primi, secondi, dessert. You don't have to go all-out (the pastas, especially, can be upgraded to meal-size if you want to save time or money), but we thought it was rude not to. Hartnett's got game – lots of it, in fact – and we loved agnolotti pasta stuffed with pheasant; a simple, beautiful spinach and ricotta-stuffed tortelloni; and spaghetti drenched in butter and served with meaty red mullet. For our mains, both the beef rump with calçot onion and the ox cheek, slower-than-slow-cooked and served with hearty polenta, were both superb reminders of what a great partnership British ingredients and Italian flair can be.
36 Tavistock Street, WC2E 7PB; cafemurano.co.uk