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October 2020 / Food & Drink / by Becky Pomfret

Lunch the Italian Way at IT London

Venturing into ‘town’ on a rainy Wednesday night seems such a thrilling proposition these days. Something we’d do on a regular basis in the not-so-distant past, now it’s a planned and highly anticipated treat. On a recent rainy early evening I head into the quiet streets of Mayfair to meet a friend in IT London.

Established in 2015 in Ibiza, IT Restaurants have branched out into London and Milan and combine carefully curated music, excellent Mediterranean cuisine and contemporary interiors in cosmopolitan destinations. Set across two floors of a former art gallery, IT London offers a dynamic fusion of fine dining and daily music sets from international DJs, making it one of Mayfair’s most dynamic hang-outs. This proves worrying as having spent many months in an extremely comfy leisure-wear wardrobe, I’m not sure I can remember what one is expected to wear when dining in such a place. I think I manage as don’t get any more odd looks than normal and I’m soon settled with my friend and a gin and tonic. The decor is lovely; sea-green velvet chairs and banquettes, wood panelled walls and low lighting. While we are there a jazz band plays in the the bar area, adding real warmth to the already warm welcome we’ve received from the friendly staff.

We try the tasting menu which is an excellent way of avoiding food envy. The thinnest, crispiest pizza/tomato bread comes out first followed by yellowtail tuna and olive oil carpaccio, beef tartare with caviar,  the chef’s signature dish of Spaghetti al Pomodoro, made with IT’s homemade Vesuvio tomato sauce, which does in fact resemble a tiny volcano, and a rack of lamb on bed of pureed potato and spinach. The good thing about a tasting menu is that there is definitely room for pudding. The desserts are outstandingly good;  a classic rum baba and a light sponge encased in a white chocolate shell with crushed meringue and limoncello. All washed down with an excellent Pinot Grigio, we end the meal feeling satisfied but not uncomfortably full. In fact, we don’t want to leave so we move through to the bar for a night-cap: expresso martinis and petit fours. With the new rules in place it makes sense to eat dinner earlier and we leave the buzzing restaurant at 9pm feeling like it’s midnight. No pumpkin for us though and it’s home in time for a cup of tea before bed-time.

IT London offers all day dining options too, so eating early dinners or in fact having a leisurely lunch are the way ahead in these unique times. Throughout the day diners can enjoy a mix of gourmet Mediterranean cuisine such as King Crab with avocado salad, green apple, ginger and seafood mayonnaise, and Mediterranean Sea bass en Papillote with scapece aubergine, tomato and citrus sauce. Also on offer is a thirst-quenching cocktail list, with the signature Improved Twinkle, made of Absolut Elyx, Italicus, St. Germain and Top Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut.

This menu is designed by Head Chef Adriano Rausa, under the supervision of the two-time Michelin-starred chef Gennaro Esposito. Adriano has also worked at IT Milan, playing an integral part in the restaurant’s Michelin star in November 2019, awarded just months after opening. New dishes from the business lunch set menu include; rack of lamb with potatoes and black cabbage, and the traditional ‘Pasta mista con patate e provola’, a Neapolitan homemade favourite made with pasta, potatoes and provola cheese.

The restaurant, located in a former Dover Street art gallery, has been described by IT founder Alessio Matrone as having, “a unique atmosphere where fine Mediterranean cuisine meats the Balearic beat of Ibiza… it’s not only a destination, it is a place to work, entertain and enjoy incredible food that will keep you coming back for more”. We couldn’t agree more.

28-29 Dover Street, (itrestaurants.com/london/)