A smart, pricey Italian in Belgravia – part of the Olivo group who are apparently taking over this suited and booted area of town in a Rick Stein Padstow-esque manner with their fish, meat and even gelato openings.
The reception on arrival to Olivocarne (their meat restaurant) was relatively frosty. Not an overly warm atmosphere, walls blue and grey, it felt a bit clinical.
Thank God the food warmed me up – top class Italian meat based goodness.
Kicking off to a good start with Sardinian lardo on crisp breads (fat on toast to you & me) and beef tartare with grey mullet row..beef with fish… it worked.
The real winner for me was my potato free ricotta based gnocchi with courgette and HUGE truffle shavings. Now I was warmed up!
I wondered as I sipped my Prosecco, what sort of diners the Olivo restaurants attract. The food is simple yet top quality, and prices reflect this, the average main costs £24. Looking around confirmed what was already obvious, I was the only Female in a sea of business suits. This was however lunchtime, perhaps the vibe would be different tonight?
Upstairs in ‘Joe’s bar’ told me otherwise. Named after a fashion designer who previously owned the building, whiskeys lined the bar and cases of cigars were on display to buy.
Dessert was interesting, a ‘Sebada’ smothered in warm honey that looked like a sea monster but tasted delicious – like a glorified Greggs cheese puff pastry.
Olivocarne is a tough one to call – clearly not the clientele, the food really was beautiful, but the decor, atmosphere and price tag left me feeling a little chilled inside. Something I would rather have gone to Olivogelato up the road for.
A hard one to chose who to recommend to, but I would happily go back should someone want to take me!