Cafe Murano, london
this is one of Angela Hartnett's new places - more casual than Murano, the menu is northern Italian and it is pitched as the kind of place she'd enjoy eating at every day.
we went for supper a week before Christmas and the place was packed, really nice buzzy atmosphere and full of people obviously having a nice time.
we started with a couple of cichetti - truffled arancini and mozzarella with aubergine - plus their lovely bread. both were good but my favourite dish followed. wonderfully tender octopus with chickpeas and pesto - a lovely fresh tomatoey sauce and the pesto kept everything light and fresh. the other starter we had was artichoke with a bagna cauda dipping sauce. for mains we both had pasta - rabbit & green olive fettucine for me (wonderfully lemony) and wild boar pappardelle (as you'd expect, much richer, with a tomato sauce).
at this point I gave up, stuffed having got a second bread basket (why?!?) so watched while my OH enjoyed tiramisu and a couple of ice creams - fig and white chocolate, I think.
we both enjoyed it and I look forward to going back - maybe to try the set lunch/theatre menu which is £17 for 2 courses and £21 for three.