It’s a Saturday, early evening and you’re bushed after a shopping splurge on Bond Street, so what are you going to do? Pop into a fine-dining Italian restaurant, that’s what. Okay, in all honesty my experience was more window-shopping than the real deal, but that can still build up quite an appetite. QP LDN was my chosen eatery, given that it’s recently had a refurb, and is in the clearly more than capable hands of the two-Michelin-starred Italian chef Antonio Mellino and his sons Raffaele and Fabrizio. Situated in the heart of Mayfair, Quattro Passi originally opened its doors in September 2014, as the sister restaurant to Quattro Passi in Nerano, Italy, widely considered to be the Amalfi coast’s top restaurant, and is now re-branded as QP LDN and has a late-night bar and lounge downstairs.
We had a very warm welcome on arrival, and before we’d even got comfy, had a glass of fizz placed in our hands and some delicious appetisers to try. It turned out to be a true test of our resolve not to eat too many of the croquettes, fried zucchini and several types of bread served with olive oil of the like we had never experienced before. My dining companion said she could have drunk it by the glass, and managed to leave with the name of the Italian company who produce it scribbled down on a scrap of paper.
We decided to try the aubergine to start, followed by borlotti bean pasta and fantastically tender rare sliced rib-eye of beef as our mains, served with an enormous tomato and rocket salad, followed by a warm orange tart with bitter chocolate ice cream and a hazelnut lover’s delight – ice-cream, mousse and meringue. We washed this all down with several glasses of a light Pecorino, relaxing in the stylish surroundings. There is a very good value early dinner set menu available, as well as gluten-free options and fresh fish flown in daily from the Mediterranean.
The restaurant was full of people of all ages, from children to grandparents, and several Italian families, which always seems a good sign in an Italian restaurant. The lighting (often a bug-bear for me if too bright) was just right, and we had an un-rushed and relaxed experience, served by knowledgeable and friendly staff, that made us reluctant to leave. Mind you, considering the new late night lounge bar downstairs, we could have extended our visit into the wee hours had we wanted to.
34 Dover Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4NG