Machiavelli Restaurant, Covent Garden

Gnocchi. Now there’s a food I have a complicated relationship with. By rights, I should love it and be able to eat it until the proverbial cows come home. I’m Irish! It’s potato! But I just can’t do it. (I would never actually make such a lazy stereotype, I just happen to really like potato).

Gnocchi I find too heavy and can only ever manage such a small portion as to sadden the heart. Until now. I have found gnocchi paradise and it’s at Machiavelli.

Dressed in a delicious ragu with sweet sausage bites, this is textured and satisfying while still being light enough to manage more than a couple of mouthfuls. In fact, a whole plate.

And the rest of the menu doesn’t disappoint either. Served on black slates, the lasagnette of roasted pane carasau with Pecorino Sardo was beautifully piled up with sweet figs and honey contrasting nicely with the crispy sheets.

The sea trout tartare was colourful and fresh and the pot roast chicken golden and perfectly cooked.

Located in a freshly overhauled stretch of Long Acre towards Holborn, Machiavelli is kitted out in cool blues and greys and simple light elegant furniture with black accents.

The feel is a kind of grown-up re-imagining of rustic elegance with a suitably trendy and stylish deli upstairs.

Since visiting, I’ve been raving to everyone I know not just about the gnocchi but the fact that Machiavelli offers great, well put together and tasty food with an understated confidence at reasonable prices.

It might not be the restaurant you choose for a special occasion, but it is a good choice for after work, pre-theatre or a lunch.

While it was busy enough when I visited, it felt like a younger and post-work crowd hadn’t quite caught up with what they now have on their doorstep. But I can’t imagine it’ll be long before all that changes.

Concierge’s Tip: There’s an enclave towards the back of the restaurant for larger groups where you can have an intimate dinner with friends and family.

Read some of our recent restaurant reviews including Iberica la Terraza in Canary Wharf and Hutong in The Shard.

Please note that Machiavelli has since closed. 

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