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London - Murano - Angela Hartnett

condor Jan 19, 2011 09:47 PM

In November 2010 I tried to get a table for 2 people for 8pm on January 19, only to be told that
the options were 6.30 or 9.30. I booked elsewhere.

Three days ago, I sent an email on the off chance & an 8pm slot was confirmed, and then increased to 3 people on the day.

The dining room is comfortable with pleasing colours & design.

I was expecting more of an Italian theme menu ... so was a little disappointed.

Both dishes were served a little cool for my liking. Sweetbreads & then lamb, but both very tasty.

Good experience ... but not great ..

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  1. m
    ManInTransit RE: condor Jan 20, 2011 03:33 AM

    Yes that was my view on Murano. Perfectly competent good food but vanilla decor and atmosphere and nothing out of the ordinary.
    Maze (under Atherton) was far superior imo.

    1. PhilD RE: condor Jan 20, 2011 01:49 PM

      "I was expecting more of an Italian theme menu ... so was a little disappointed." - well she may have an Italian grandparent (who lived in Wales but then brought her up in London) but she was born in England to a Irish father and welsh mother.

      8 Replies
      1. re: PhilD
        zuriga1 RE: PhilD Jan 20, 2011 10:02 PM

        Murano IS quite an Italian name... plus I've seen Harnett cook quite a few Italian goodies on TV over the years. It could be that some might expect more Italian dishes on the menu if they didn't see it beforehand.

        1. re: zuriga1
          condor RE: zuriga1 Jan 20, 2011 10:27 PM

          'Precisely' ... and the lemon tart and pine nut panacotta are not exactly english creations.

          The 'tasting menu' has a scattering of italian words, and the only Italian word used in the main menu was the word 'fromaggi'.

          Irrespective of where Angela was born this is a restaurant which fails to impress & fails to reflect one of the world's best cuisines. One gets the feeling of being left in 'no man's land'.

          1. re: condor
            limster RE: condor Jan 21, 2011 12:13 AM

            Murano is a reference to the islands noted for glassworks near Venice; it's clear that they've tried to market the place as Italian.

            I don't mind if a restaurant makes good food, even if it doesn't fall into a particular style or theme. But definitely agree re: unimpressive food, including an over salted broth (excessive reduction?) when I ate there. The places in Brixton Village offer better cooking, cheeses and cured meats.

          2. re: zuriga1
            PhilD RE: zuriga1 Jan 21, 2011 02:14 PM

            "Located in the heart of London’s Mayfair, Murano serves modern cuisine with
            an Italian accent, reflecting Angela’s family roots." - from their website. To me that wouldn't lead me to expect a classic italian theme, and in my book that isn't marketing it as an Italian, and thus a little unfair to say it "fails to reflect one of the world's best cuisines". And yes I know where the name Murano comes from (I have some Murano glass).

            Of course whether the food is any good is another matter.

            1. re: PhilD
              limster RE: PhilD Jan 21, 2011 03:41 PM

              On their website, they also call Murano a "fine-dining Italian restaurant" and emphasizes her Italian lineage, as was also the case in interviews prior to Murano's opening. The inconsistencies among different parts of their current website suggest that they were not absolutely successful, but the attempt is pretty clear.

              1. re: limster
                PhilD RE: limster Jan 21, 2011 03:51 PM

                Well to be fair and precise the whole quote is: "Never one to rest on her laurels, Angela was again busy in 2008 opening Murano – a fine-dining Italian restaurant in the heart of London’s Mayfair. Murano serves modern cuisine with an Italian accent, reflecting Angela’s family roots." - I know how I read that.

                1. re: PhilD
                  limster RE: PhilD Jan 21, 2011 03:58 PM

                  As I've mentioned above, it's not just the text in the website, but also image they were trying to cultivate in the publicity for Murano via press interviews with Angela Harnett. The second sentence about the Italian accent, after they've called it Italian fine dining reads like fine print to me.

                  1. re: limster
                    dustbuddy RE: limster Jan 24, 2011 04:02 AM

                    This is December's menu:

                    New season ceps, chestnut purée, pancetta salt

                    Roasted pumpkin tortelli, sage butter, amaretti biscuits

                    Jerusalem and baby artichoke, salad leaves, ricotta

                    Roasted fillet of beef, braised short ribs, cavolo nero
                    Loin of venison, mushroom ragout, winter truffles

                    Parmesan, 24 year old Balsamic vinegar

                    Semi freddo chocolate and Amaretto

                    Quince crostata

                    There is clearly an Italian influence at work, however, I don't think someone reading this would expect traditional Italian fare. That said, I can't believe that many (if any) people expect that this from Murano.

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