Meeting family in Lamb’s Conduit Street I was sad to see that Cigala, and its sweary waiter, had bitten the dust. And we couldn’t get in Sergio’s or Noble Rot. Hence we pushed on to Gray’s Inn Road.
Otto’s seemed a bit too grand for what we wanted so we plumped for Luce e Limone hoping to get classic Italian cooking à la Al Duca.
And we did. The bean and squid soup up front, while not having much of the advertised heat, did have a hefty amount of tentacles swimming in it. The main of crab ravioli was cooked perfectly, even if presented on an annoying rectangular plate. No quibbles with the food.
Service, on the other hand, was slightly eccentric. I think the manager was babysitting as his (charming) daughter sang, ‘I’m bored’ to the smattering of customers. I would happily have had her make up a foursome as she seemed pretty lively but her Dad looked pretty fed up that she was there at all.
Anyway, we’d barely started our aperitifs when the starters were brought to the table; I’m not sure that Campari and squid are natural companions on the palate. The house white was decent but at £30+ for a bottle we were clearly in lawyerland on the budget side of things (starters were mostly over ten quid).
Classic Cuban sounds (!) coming out of the speakers couldn’t liven up a room that was a bit tired on the furnishings side. Despite there being a dozen tables empty the staff still seemed determined to rush through the service – except when it came to delivering the bill – meaning that what was intended to be a lazy family meal turned into a sub-hour pop in at a cost of over 40 quid a head.
Maybe Otto’s would have been a better punt after all.
To see the other restaurants I’ve visited go to the map …
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).