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Novikov – A touch of Italy in Mayfair.
The Italian Novikov restaurant sits alongside its Asian counterpart in a prime Mayfair location on Berkeley Street just a stone’s throw from Green Park, neighbouring other exclusive dining destinations including the Ritz, Hakkasan Mayfair, Murano, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester and more.
The brainchild of celebrated Russian entrepreneur and restaurateur Arkady Novikov, the eponymous restaurant is unashamedly glamorous and regularly frequented by the rich and famous. It offers two very different fine dining experiences; Novikov Italian and Nokikov Asian with the option of visiting the glitzy Lounge Bar downstairs.
The Italian Restaurant has a very different feel to the Asian Restaurant, which I’d had the pleasure to visit last week, it’s more Mediterranean and convivial. The reception is decked wall to ceiling with racks of fine wines, the restaurant is warmly lit with parquet wood flooring, soft colours and several giant olive trees and the ceilings are hung with large contemporary candelabras. Mirrored panels and doors create an elegant oasis and tables beautifully set with white linen table cloths and vibrant vases of roses make it the perfect place for a romantic dinner or alternatively a for groups of friends, of which there were several sitting around big round tables celebrating birthdays Italian style.
The bustling open plan kitchen boasts a wood oven and is surrounded by an amazing display of colourful fruit and vegetables, fresh homemade pasta, tempting antipasti dishes, freshly baked bread and magnificent looking seafood.
Seated in the centre of the room, we were able to lap up the ambience whilst our lovely Italian waiter introduced himself, throughout the evening he was both charming and attentive. Bringing a selection of bread to start off which includes grissini, focaccia Pane Curasau and nicely charred pane Pugliese served with a vegetable tapenade.
We were also well looked after by the sommelier, who paired our meal with the perfect wines, he started by bringing us two glasses of crisp appley Prosecco, I was definitely getting that Mediterranean feeling…
With our meal, we drank an organic Mistral Rigoloccio 100% Chardonnay with minimal sulphites; a robust white wine with oak and vanilla notes, which paired excellently with our food.
We started with a delicious trio of fresh and lightly smoked swordfish, eel and salmon with shards of crisp fennel.
A sublime mix of wood-roasted peppers with a subtle and bewitching black truffle tuna sauce, parsley and thyme.
And a dish of Tagliolini with white crab meat, courgettes and tomato. The pasta was soft and seductive while the light tomato sauce didn’t overwhelm delicate the flavours of crab.
For mains – a hearty winter’s dish of slow-cooked Chilean Wagyu braised beef; wonderfully hot and tender, it just melted in the mouth and it was served on a bed of luscious potato purée.
Glorious scarlet Mediterranean prawns demanded you suck the heads to get the full rich funky seafood experience. Simply served….perfect.
And finally, when (imagining) in Italy, there’s nothing like a traditional Italian Tiramisu made with Tuscan Vin Santo and sweet caramel stewed pear, as light as a feather and deliciously indulgent.
Or alternatively a scrumptious melt in the middle milk Valrhona chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream.
Paired with Barolo Chinato, Cordero di Montemizolo, Piedmont – like an amazingly herbal supercharged sweet martini.
And classic cappuccinos to end a perfect evening.
Novikov is a real treat; a lovely elegant restaurant, with exceptional service and delicious food all of which creates a marvellous sense of occasion.
50A Berkeley Street
T +44 (0) 207 399 4330