Having been aware of the San Carlo group for quite some time (due to how many of our most favourite footballers eat at their restaurant in Manchester), it was an absolute delight to be invited along to their very new, very shiny Regent Street, St James’s restaurant.
Fronted by a beautiful, yet modest terrace, you walk inside to the classiest of eateries once inside. Soft lights (yet not dim), spotless surfaces, and an array of friendly, smiling, Italian culinary experts to look after you, what more could you ask for?
We chose to sit outside, mostly because London is gripped by a monster of a heatwave, and being early evening, some respite could be found in the shade of surrounding regency architecture.
An aperitivo each to refresh ourselves, and some olives were quickly served up, and we were then immersed into the wonderful menu. “This is going to be hard” I thought, as we meandered through dish after dish of Italian goodness.
We chose the buratta and the carpaccio to start. Each was wonderful (the carpaccio here being the first to beat my favourite Parisian restaurant in Montparnasse). Sipping our negroni, and Apperol spritz, we knew we were in for something special.
We opted for the ‘small plates’ as there were just too many options to pick from. Not a single dish could have been improved, each was fresh, well presented, and enjoyed thoroughly.
Dorset crab, linguine with black clams, pasta with guinea-fowl ragu, lamb cutlets, scallops, mixed fried fish & shellfish, were all delectable, delicious, and delightful. You can always tell when a chef has not only put the work into making the food, but has also made a point of buying exceptional ingredients, and at San Carlo, the chef has excelled himself (of herself!)
I have to admit, one of my favourite parts of the whole meal was the incredible zucchine fritte. I’ve had many vegetables fried over the years, but these were unforgettable! I’d go back to San Carlo just for this amazing treat.
We enjoyed a delicious bottle of Barolo (a favourite when it comes to red wine), and being looked after by Livio (who makes his own wine, and is an expert sommelier) made us feel we’d picked the most suitable bottle. The richness, and the hint of tomatoes was just sublime.
To finish up, we enjoyed an exciting, refreshing take on an Italian classic, tiramisu, which is adorned with gelatine instead of coffee. It’s very unusual at first, but truly delicious. We also tried the chocolate and amaretti bonnet, again, sublime! All this was happily washed down with a cleansing limoncello.
Due to the phenomenal food, the impeccable service, and the splendid interior, San Carlo Regent Street, St James’s, is our ‘Restaurant of the Month’ for July!
Our rating? Our first ever 10/10
Find San Carlo here