Osteria dell Angelo Westminster
47 Marsham Street, Westminster SW1P 3DR
020 3268 1077/www.osteriadellangolo.co.uk/
An ‘Osteria’ is a simple country restaurant serving local produce and if I imagined for one minute that I was going to find a rustic hideaway in the Westminster village then I was swiftly disabused of that notion on entering Osteria dell Angelo.
With walls in terracotta and cream and studded with banquettes and leather chairs, the restaurant is an airy space with plenty of room for the politicos, hacks and lobbyists to be strictly ‘off the record’. Her ladyship and I toasted the political classes with a very clean tasting and light glass of Prosecco Sylvoz Le Coture (£7.50) whilst nibbling on some pretty decent bread and grissini. The menu is classically Italian with starters, pasta dishes , mains and desserts all listed.
Seared scallops with paprika, purple potatoes and basil oil (£11.50) were a riot of colour. The scallops were plump and juicy and the purple spuds came two ways, boiled and as a crisp which added an element of the texturally unexpected! A citrussy glass of Greco di Tufo with its mineral finish provided an elegant accompaniment.
Potato Gnocchi filled with goat cheese, pumpkin, wild mushroom and sage sauce (£9.50) were beautifully light with the richness of the filling cut through by a grassy Sauvignon from Trentino that Salvatore the charming and dapper manager sent our way.
Tuna with radicchio from Treviso came with tasty cicerchie beans and a balsamic reduction (£18). The fish came rare as ordered and the bitter radicchio was delicious.
Her ladyship ordered the suckling pig belly with ‘romanesco’ cauliflower and hazelnuts (£16). The meat had too much fat on it for her taste but the belly is a fatty cut; however she really loved the vegetables. The Nebbiolo red that came with the meat displayed a good balance of tannins and fruit.
Semifreddo alla nocciola con salsa al cioccolato (£5.50) had excellent flaky pastry and the accompanying glass of Angialis Vendemmia Tardiva Sardegna Argiolas 2004 (£10) was rich and figgy.
Tiramisu (£5.50) is such a cliche and I fall for it far too often. This was extremely light but full of flavour and I enjoyed it more than I care to admit. My moscato fizz, a Kabir, Moscato di Pantelleria Donnafugata (£8) was sweet and frivolous which I feel are ideal qualities.
There is something reassuringly old-fashioned about Osteria dell Angelo. The staff are young but understand the virtues of courtesy and discreet service and the food is pleasurable without trying too hard to be ‘on-trend’. For a business lunch or an evening date it would make an excellent option.