The scene: A relaxed yet stylish eatery with a rustic feel that provides the perfect setting for any night out, whether it’s with a group of friends or a romantic meal for two.
The venue: has a warm, homely vibe to it – it’s easy to pretend you’ve actually been invited over for dinner at Jamie’s very own abode.
There’s vibrant artwork on the walls and a great farmers’ market at the back of the restaurant.
The grub: The meat antipasti plank starter with cured meats, cheeses, pickles and salad is a smorgasbord of Italian favourites – bellissimo!
The baked chestnut mushroom with smoked buffalo mozzarella is also impressive.
For mains, there’s a choice of pasta, seafood, steaks or salads – all with a hearty Italian Jamie Oliver-twist.
The bucatini carbonara with homemade tubular spaghetti, smoked pancetta and courgettes proves sublime, and the steak hits the jackpot among the meat lovers (even the extremely fussy South African carnivores give it the seal of approval).
Behind the bar: Plenty of Italian wines and bubblies from which to choose, plus a handful of cocktails and beers.
If you’re a red wine lover, try the 2009 Gran Sasso (£4.65 per glass and £17.35 per bottle) which is dubbed the wine of the evening.
Bill please: Something to suit all wallets with starters from £3.50-£6.65; main meals at £5.95-£16.45 and desserts for under a fiver.
Verdict: Top quality food and wines in an unpretentious environment – la dolce vita!
19-23 High Street, KT1 1LL
0208 912 0110
– Inger Smith