Last Updated on July 8, 2021 by Fiona Maclean
Italian Fine Dining in Mayfair
If like me you’ve been wondering what happened to all the beautiful people over lockdown, they all seemed to have re-emerged a few nights ago when we went to review IT London. The 100-cover Mayfair restaurant opened in 2019 in what had been an art gallery in Dover Street. It has just reopened its doors with a food offer developed by chef Nino di Costanzo of the two-star Michelin restaurant Daní Maison that creates a fine-dining take on southern Italy and the Balearic Islands. There are other branches in Porto Cervo, Ibiza and Milan (with a Michelin star), and new openings for this year in Tulum and Mykonos.
Strolling past the fashion houses and art galleries of Dover Street we could see from a distance the striking exterior floral displays and outdoor seating. The glamorous interior has a bar, restaurant, private dining options, an upstairs lounge and a gallery space. The buzzy Mayfair atmosphere was fuelled by a pumping soul soundtrack from the DJ with waitresses swishing around in beautiful long silk print dresses.
The interior featured turquoise banquettes, padded cream chairs and dark wood floors set off by marble tables, with an open kitchen and a raw bar in the centre of the action.
It’s rude not to start with a cocktail and at IT they have a list which must be one of the most original in London, featuring ingredients we haven’t seen anywhere else.
We tried the St George Gimlet. This was a complex and sophisticated drink, a blend of Konik’s Tail vodka, with bergamot and herbal notes of Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto liqueur and a rhubarb and orange cream citrate.
The non-alcoholic Rabarbaro (rhubarb) Fizz was a mix of non-alcoholic Ceder’s Classic spirit distilled with juniper and coriander botanicals, rhubarb, cream, egg white and 2 Key’s Grapefruit Soda. It was deliciously light and fragrant and not dissimilar to a Ramos gin fizz which is one of the great cocktails of the world.
Suitably invigorated by the drinks we opted for the tasting menu as a smart way to eat through as much of the menu as we humanly could.
The place setting had proper linen napkins which always makes me feel as if civilisation hasn’t quite collapsed with elegant Broggi cutlery as our weapons of choice. Out came some homemade focaccia with sun-dried tomatoes, tangy sourdough with a great tasting chewy crust and grissini.
It’s always a good idea to eat pizza after bread. Fortunately, the IT Pizza Margarita was a properly thin-crust pizza of the type I’ve only had in Sicily topped with the appropriate classic ingredients. I ate far too much of it.
Next out was a dish of deliciously light ricotta dumplings filled on a bed a soft spinach purée – gnudo di ricotta e spinaci – this meal was starting to feel very authentic.
The final starter was a tartare di branzino, melograno, asparagi e frutto della passione (sea-bass tartare, pomegranate, asparagus and passion fruit). The fish was very delicately flavoured and studded with the sweet-sour crunch of pomegranate seeds.
We moved onto a glass of lovely white wine, Allegrini Oasi Mantellina Lugana 2019 from the shores of Lake Garda with lemony citrus and stone notes.
From the pasta menu we tried the mezzi paccheri cacio e pepe con gamberi. Al dente tubular paccheri pasta had lots of bite and was slathered in a classic cheesy and pepper sauce and topped with succulent raw prawns. I loved this dish.
Our main dish was a ‘Nerano style’ sea bass. The original ‘Nerano’ pasta dish has a sauce made from fried courgettes and parmesan. This plate had a perfectly cooked fillet of fish with carrots, tomato, and a piquant courgette sauce.
Our dessert was a deconstructed Tiramisù served with a clean-tasting fior di latte ice cream and a cappuccino foam.
IT London is a place to dress up for, a place for meeting friends and fun. The food is fab, the drinks offer is really interesting and the service is slick (in a good way) and informed. It has a real atmosphere. I’ll be back.
28-29 Dover St
London W1S 4LX
+44 20 3887 4360
Looking for something different in Mayfair? We also recommend Hakassan