refettorio - steep inclination
"OK, but I don't normally go to restaurants that are in hotels"
I said, when Refettorio was suggested as the venue for the next 'four go mad on the wine list' event. But, I couldn't remember my reasoning behind excluding a whole swathe of London's most talked-about dining rooms. So, in a spirit of new adventure and with the promise of Locatelli influenced menu design, off we went. Straight away we got Georgio's legacy, both barrels. The menu reads like a trolley dash in an Italian deli. Six, or was it eight, tasting, sharing platters of cured meats and creditable cheeses provided the simple and best choices for the four of us. We chose two and were mostly not dissapointed (Kev wasn't sure about the cheeses). The thick sliced salt beef was a joyous celebration of the beef keepers art while the Italian cheese plate showed a variety of taste and texture, the appreciation of the enthusiast shining through. All washed down with a really well selected Verdiccio, we were off to a flying start.
Meaty mains were easily a match and kept the carnivores happy with fine and perfectly pink loin of lamb and a super succulent veal chop. The fishetarians on the other side of the table were slightly stitched up by the Italian style of serving swordfish simply with salad and nothing else. They were baying for carbs almost before their knives scraped across the plates.
The Barolo was of course excellent and the somellier didn't need to be asked for a decanter. In fact, it was so good, we had to have another in short succession to the first.
On to the puds and an orange creme brulee was pretty perfect and a nicely judged ending to an enjoyable evening of feasting. The atmosphere was calm but buzzy enough, the style point was high, the design accomplished if not cutting. The staff were above average professional and most importantly, we had a good night out.
So, what's wrong with going to restaurants in hotels ? I didn't get my reminder until the very end of the evening when.....the bill arrived. "Holy credit cards Bank Manager", this turned out to be the most expensive meal I've ever had in London (so far). Was it the best ?, well, no. Was it worth it then ?, no. Will I go back for more punishment ?, maybe. I'll just have to save up and give my wallet time to forget it's latest beating.