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Stefano Potorti’s top 7 Italian restaurants in London
With more than 1,000 Italian restaurants to choose from in the City, finding the most authentic and best spot can be a challenge. Stefano Potorti, an Italian native and long-time Londoner and Managing Director of Sagitter One a boutique hospitality consultancy, gives us his top 7 picks.
Stay away from any menu that has pasta and Alfredo sauce, or spaghetti costoletta alla Milanese – these aren’t Italian dishes, and the restaurant probably isn’t either.
Potorti, who is originally from the most southwest region of Calabria, the mountainous and coastal region that composes the toe of Italy’s boot on a map, has lived in London for 12 years. He consults clients on various culinary projects, but because of his Italian roots, he is always asked about his favourite Italian restaurant in London. Here is his list:
1) Cacio e Pepe
46 Churton Street, London,
Monday to Saturday 11:00am – 11:30pm
I like this new stylish place in Pimlico for its regional cuisine from Lazio. It has a nice modern bar for an Aperitivo or light dinner on the ground floor and tables with comfy sofas in the basement where you can have some private space for a group of people. My favourite thing on the menu is their signature Roman pasta made with fresh tagliolini Cacio & Pepe style in a parmesan basket – it’s very simple, beautiful and delicious! The outdoor seating will also let you soak in the last few days of Indian summer in London.
2) Osteria dell’Angolo
47 Marsham Street, Westminster
Monday to Friday 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Monday to Saturday 6:00pm – 10:30pm
Located behind the Westminster Cathedral, this is a nice place for lunch and dinner in a quiet yet central part of London. I like their spacious space and classy tables. When they open windows and full walls on a warm day, you are instantly transported to the South of Italy. The bar is very inviting and I hardly pass by without an Aperol Spritz in hand. They also have a private dining room with dark wood furniture downstairs next to the wine cellar. I like their whole menu because the chef is from Naples and likes cooking seasonal dishes from the area. If I had to choose, I would go for their traditional pasta from Sorrento with fresh crab meat and courgettes.
135 Wardour St, London
Open 24 hours/day
This Milanese-style bakery is one of the buzziest places in Soho and it is open from 8:00am to midnight. It has a nice modern interior and you can have your meal either standing or seating – very Italian. All the bread, cakes and pastries are made in the spacious kitchen downstairs and served to you over the stone and glass counter by enthusiastic staff. They have warm croissants and brioches for breakfast, filled focaccias and colourful salads for lunch, hot dishes for dinner and, of course, amazing bread to take home! My usual order there is a warm focaccia with mortadella – it reminds me of one I used to live in Italy.
15 Lowndes St, London
Monday to Sunday 12:00pm – 11:00pm
Situated in the heart of Knightsbridge, in the summer their terrace is perfect for an Aperitivo and in winter, the red brick interior makes for cosy dinners. The atmosphere is great, the service is very attentive. The meal there is a real treat. If you have important guests coming from Italy – take them to Zafferano and they will love you! My fav