By Katie Wilson
Not many restaurants are housed in a former bank, but Piazza Italiana is no ordinary restaurant.
A new opening in London’s Square Mile, this luxury Italian eatery is in the Grade-II listed British Linen Bank building.
It’s achingly opulent inside with Neoclassical columns, arched windows, high ornate ceilings and dangling chandeliers.
As far as dining rooms go, it’s one of the most impressive we’ve seen. There are also three event spaces here which can be hired out for elegant celebrations.
The menu has been created by Sicilian-born chef Remo Mazzucato, who has over 50 years’ experience cooking Italian dishes, so rest assured it’s authentic.
Obviously there is a lot of pasta to be devoured, along with antipasti, meat and fish dishes. There is a big focus on sharing food too, with an entire section of the menu dedicated to it.
Our meal began with a round of Prosecco and complimentary bread, which was a mix of ciabatta, carasau and focaccia served on a stand on the table with balsamic vinegar, herb butter and a selection of dips. Although it was only bread, it was quite a spectacle.
For starters we tried the Cozze E Vongole Al Vino Bianco (£14) – steamed mussels and clams in a white wine and lobster broth with garlic bruschetta – and the Arancini Ripieni Di Mozzarella (£10) stuffed with mozzarella, arrabbiata sauce and parmesan. Both didn’t last long on our plates.
One of the signature main dishes at Piazza Italiana is the Tagliolini Al Tartufo (£28 for two) – tagliolini pasta with creamy truffle sauce – which we had to sample. This is a showstopper, and definitely one for the ‘gram, as it is spun in a pecorino wheel at the table and served with fresh black truffle sprinkled over the top if you want it.
Other star dishes include the Ravioli Al Granchio Reale (£35) – ravioli with crab meat, lobster tomato sauce and asparagus – which we absolutely need to come back and try.
Another sharing dish which caught our eye was the Fonduta Di Formaggio Al Tartufo (£28) – a truffle melted cheese dipping bath served with toasted ciabatta, roasted potatoes and cauliflower.
Meat eaters will love the Ossobuco Di Vitello Brasato (£28) – braised cross-cut veal shanks with sofrito sauce. While pescatarians should order the Polpo Grigliato (£26) – slow cooked octopus in a creamy leak ragout. We also liked the sound of the Calamari Ripieni Alla Griglia (£22) – grilled squids stuffed with crab meat, mozzarella and cream cheese in a creamy garlic sauce.
If you just want to pop in for cocktails and a light bite, you can order from the Cicchetti (Italian tapas) menu, served from 3-6pm. Choose from bite-size dishes such as Spicy Aubergine Caponata, Fried Oyster, Polpette meatballs and a selection of Crostinis, which start from £2.
Italian breakfasts are served Monday to Friday with dishes like Eggs Piazza Italiana – toasted ciabatta with prosciutto ham, truffle pecorino cheese, poached or fried eggs and fresh black truffle.
As the à la carte menu at Piazza Italiana is not the cheapest, they also offer a more affordable set lunch menu. Two courses are £27.50 or get three for £30.
Best for: Dates, work lunches, special occasions
Piazza Italiana, at 38 Threadneedle Street, London, is open Monday to Wednesday 8am-10pm, Thursday and Friday 8am-11pm and Saturday 6-11pm.
Prices start at £9 for a starter and £20 for a main
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