I came here yesterday for lunch for the second time-the first, admittedly was about 15 years ago. I've always wanted to return and, as we were in the neighbourhood, decided to try it again. It's in a lovely narrow side road just before Hampstead tube station. The interior is very smart and there's an upstairs with a grand piano! I was going to have the daily set menu which I think was £16.50 for 2 courses (a selection of 2 dishes per course, all of which sounded appetising) but I decided to have the lobster soup with crab ravioli followed by the sea bass. There were lots of specials the waiter told us about but these were from the a la carte menu. The nice thing about the menu is that you can order a small or a large portion so for small eaters (not me) this seems like a great idea. The soup was delicious and so was my sea bass which was stuffed with fresh rosemary and a huge clove of garlic. We ordered a large portion of spinach-a small portion for 2 is large enough, by the way-and a dish of sauted potatoes. My companion had the table d'hote menu and had the minestrone (which was just as it should be, including small pieces of pasta) followed by the salmon in a lemon and caper sauce. The portion of salmon was large, and apparently was delicious too. Service was excellent. The manager/maitre d' came over and I asked him how long he had been there. He is from Lake Maggiore (a favourite holiday destination of mine) and he told us how long he had been there and the history of the restaurant. Very friendly and informative. We had no room for dessert so had coffees, along with some very nice biscuits. I need to tell you as well about the wonderful bread basket they serve-there must have been about 6-7 different types of bread/breadstick-really something. I would highly recommend this restaurant and will definitely be returning-hopefully sooner than another 15 years ;-). It is ideal for a special occasion. The bill came to £83 less service (which is added on), including the wine and water. Incidentally, the house white was more than palatable and at £14.00 was not expensive.
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