Tinello and Testing the Peroni Vivi in Stile App:
In Victoria for an event last week, somehow the canapes, cocktails and champagne didn’t quite hit the spot and about 8pm I felt very hungry. It’s not a part of London I know very well – there are a few good Hotels, like the one we were in for the event and not much else within walking distance. Yes of course we could have got a cab into the West End, or even hiked up there, but my Stilettos really don’t do that kind of walking unless absolutely necessary.
I’d been sent an app to download on my phone and test so, we both thought it would be fun to see what was in the area. Now, it lets you find fashion, drinks. design, event and food. Obviously we went for food!
An interesting selection of restaurants in the area popped up in list form, marked up with distance from us. And, we picked one to try. Tinello is an Italian restaurant founded by an ex chef from Locatelli and it came with the recommendation of Locatelli himself. The list was quite short and very biased to Italian restaurants, though from browsing I’ve noticed that’s not so much the case in the West End. And, it was an excellent way to find somewhere to eat in an area we didn’t know too well. The app provided a short introduction and a phone number so we could reserve a table (something that we were grateful of, when we arrived to find a full restaurant!) and you could click through to a map, although personally I found that a little confusing since every listing within the app was pinpointed (including bars and shops).
Hurrah though, we found somewhere to eat, and it turned out to be a lot better than a lucky dip choice!
Tinello is a modern, stripped back Italian bistro on the Pimlico Road in an area where prices tend to be very high. But, here at least, you can enjoy excellent food and end up with a reasonable bill at the end of the evening.
We chose two of the ‘small plates’ on the menu as starters. An unpretentious but absolutely delicious bowl of deep fried artichokes came looking distinctly messy. I’ve eaten the same dish with the artichokes kept whole, but these small morsels were less greasy and yet every bit as well flavoured
Our second ‘Small Plate’ (and incidentally these are generous portions!) was this wild chicory and caper salad. A really good dish to enjoy alongside the artichokes, this was a superbly fresh and well dressed salad.
I found it quite hard to pick my main course. But, I peeked across the dining room and saw the table next door enjoying Grilled Baby Chicken with Spinach. Such a simple dish, but one that can be wrecked by under or over cooking and that, as is the case for most simple food, needs excellent ingredients to make it work well.
It was excellent, with buttery, just done spinach and lovely crisp skinned tender chicken.
My dining companion’s Monkfish with baby artichokes and potato stew and grey mullet roe was generous and exceptionally well cooked. No rubbery texture, just a lovely chunk of firm white fish.
Wines were suprisingly keenly priced, with the cheapest bottle just £14.50 and some perfectly pleasant whites like the one we enjoyed from Sicily at around £17. Respect to the restaurant for offering such good value both for wine and food.
I’d planned to have cantucci and vin santo instead of a full dessert, but the cantucci was finished, so instead I enjoyed a tiny almond flan with icecream (and the vin santo!) while my companion indulged in Mousse di Maron Glace` e crema al rum which I don’t think needs translating!
All in, this was an unexpectedly fabulous meal where the bill (without service which is discretionary) was under £90 for two including wine and my vin santo. Something of a bargain in a part of Town where such things are few and far between. So on that basis alone I’ll be using Vivi in Stile again to see if it can find me another winner. Here are the links to download it for yourself (it’s free) and try – for Apple: http://bit.ly/viviiphone & Android: http://bit.ly/viviAndroid