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London - Alternatives because Bocca di Lupo is booked

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I wanted to book Bocca di Lupo but they're pretty much booked (5:30 is too early; 10:30 is too late). I'd appreciate suggestions for another good Italian restaurant. We're not particular about the region or being "authentic" - whatever that means - but do want properly cooked pasta, a good wine list and somewhere central in London.

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  1. There aren't too many mentions of Italian places on the board. I suspect that's because it's not something Americans tend to be looking for in London.

    We had a very nice meal at Tentazioni a few weeks back when we were visiting the capital. Service a bit slow but food was generally pretty good. Can't comment on the wine as I don't drink. http://www.tentazioni.co.uk/restauran...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      From last year's meal -- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/653664 -- I thought the tasting menu at Tentazioni is not a bad deal (I've seen fairly deep discounts via top table etc.) I thought the food was good if uneven, but there were enough dishes that I liked.

      I quite like Trattoria Semplice, and the more expensive Ristorante Semplice is also good, with very restrained and spare cooking, and an excellent all Italian cheese cart.

      Suspect that people might mention Polpo, also in Soho.

      Liked the food at Mennula, which is largely Sicilian (good wine recommendations from the staff when I ate there). And the pasta with bottarga at Sardo was enjoyable too (Sardinian heavy wine list).

      Haven't been to L'Anima in a while, but loved it when I went -- very tight, refined cooking. pricey but worth it.

      Trattoria Tartufo has an excellent squid ink tagliolini with crab.

      To Watson, more details if you search for these places. I've posted about all of them.

      1. re: Harters

        For Italian in London would go to Locanda Locatelli, lots of bad Italian food in London unfortunately.

        1. re: UK2004

          Locatelli was one of our more disappointing meals. Ever!

          Mrs H had wanted to eat there for ages. It took us about two years to tie in being able to get a reservation with being able to travel to London. Then, there was little that we liked. Thought the room appalling, the staff indifferent and the food unworthy of a Michelin star. Maybe bit was a one-off, but I suspect not.

      2. I would second limster's suggestion of L'Anima. It is expensive but very, very good food in my opinion. The rabbit stew my girlfriend had there was amazing!

        1 Reply
        1. re: souljacker

          feel free to shoot me down, but what about polpo?

        2. Zucca and Anima would be my first two choiches,as they are always excellent.
          The former is certainly better value for money.

          1. The starters at Tempo in Mayfair are excellent and if you like small plates (e.g. an elegant sea bass caparccio with fennel and grapefruit, outstanding fried octopus), I'd certainly go there.