In celebration of its heritage, Harry’s Dolce Vita in Knightsbridge has brought the Italian Riviera to London, a perfect destination for Londoners enjoying a stay-cation.
When we visit the restaurant on a warm September’s evening, the place is buzzing.
Glamorous clientele sipping bespoke cocktails created in partnership with O’ndina Gin while enjoying the restaurant’s Mediterranean dishes.
This place embodies a warm, long-lived, sultry and brilliant 1950s and ‘60s nostalgia with a modern boot-shaped kick.
Diners and drinkers alike are greeted to a boutique-style, swathe of plush wood, stylish leather and charming décor, and a subtly created, black and white movie world, transporting you in an instant to an era of exactly that: la bella dolce vita.
Twists on classic cocktails include the house sparkling Negroni with a hallmark ‘H’ stamped into the block of ice, and delicious Bellinis, that are as delicious as at Harry’s bar in Venice.
We dug into Harry’s Tagliolini from the Black Truffle menu – gratinated tagliolini pasta with Parmesan and butter, served at the table from its own copper saucepan, some delightful Tuna Crudo with peach, white crab, avocado and ginger dressing, and a generous portion of fried courgette flowers with truffled honey, mint, pine nut salad and lemon ricotta.
Lobster spaghetti with chilli, tomatoes, garlic and basil is a real delight and Sole & vongole served with Gavi Di Gavi wine sauce with clams, samphire and parsley is fresh and full of goodness.
It comes on pretty crockery decorated with fish and Harry’s name.
Harry’s Toadstool, a dessert exclusive to this restaurant is a highlight.
A giant mushroom served with a sauce the colour of moss is actually made from white chocolate, fresh raspberries, mascarpone mousse, iced vanilla parfait, pistachio biscotti crunch.
Pistachios give the sauce its green colour.
Low-lit lounge lamps pepper the white linen, etched into slim place through the rest of the art-deco inspired decoration.
On the walls are a mish-mash of Italian prints and pictures – my own favourite of which is a huge painting showing limbs lounging over the side of a teak framed boat, floating on the water, sun beating down on bronzed skin.
A reminiscent view of any decent Italian art-house film.
This 70 cover restaurant is narrow but uses the space well, meaning that desserts arrive through a graceful weaving of well-trained, ever approachable staff.
Stuffy this place is not. This is a restaurant that imbues a classy casual-ity often difficult to achieve.
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