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Test Driving Il Borro London - a Tuscan bistro Mayfair-style

ALTThe upstairs dining room and open kitchen

What do we need to know about Il Borro?

Il Borro or, to use its full name - Il Borro Tuscan Bistro London, is Mayfair's newest luxe Italian. The restaurant already has branches in Tuscany and Dubai but the main thing to know is that it's named after the Il Borro estate in Arezza which is owned by the fashion family Ferragamo. The estate prides itself on biodiversity and organic farming and it's that which they're hoping to entice big-budget Londoners through its doors.

Where is it?

It's taken over the bit of prime restaurant real estate on Berkeley Street that used to be Nobu Berkeley Street. That puts it firmly in the footballers' triangle and pitching it up against the likes of Novikov and Bocconcino on the same street.

Does it have a bar?

It does and it's actually a very good one that we've already decided might well be our new favourite drinking hole in this part of town. For the restaurant's launch, top bar consultant Giancarlo Mancino was in the house. He's brought with him his famous clay pot for making top-class negronis and his team also knock up an excellent martini, made with vin santo as well as vermouth.

Look out for the bar snacks that look just like olives... but aren't (we'll leave you to enjoy that surprise).

ALTThe bar at Il Borro - complete with roaring fire.

Where should we sit?

This is a restuarant of two halves. Both the ground floor dining room and upstairs one have open kitchens so you can see the chefs at work. Our preference would be upstairs, just make sure you're not sat too close to the pass. There's also a very swanky private dining room upstairs that runs the width of the building and looks out over Berkeley Street.

ALTWe expect this private dining room, overlooking Berkeley Street to do very well (and there's another smaller PDR too). 

So what's on the menu?

We'd say it's classic Tuscan with an international jet-set tweak. So you can expect snacks, pasta and pizza, seafood and meat mains, as well as an oysters and caviar section.

ALTPappa al pomodoro (£11) one of the restaurant's signature dishes this is Tuscan bread served with a rustic dipping tomato sauce. Very, very tomatoey - this was one of the hits of the night.

ALTGnocchi ai quattro formaggi (£18) - deeply cheesy gnocchi.

ALTPumpkin tortelli with Umbrian black truffles (£28) - punchy pricing, but the sweetness of the pumpkin worked a treat with the earthy truffles

ALTPeposo dell’Impruneta (£38) - Tuscan braised beef in a tomato and black pepper sauce served with crunchy rosemary polenta

ALTTagliata di Wagyu (£69)- grilled sliced Wagyu sirloin with a rocket salad and shaved parmesan. Beautifully cooked steak, but for this price we'd have expected more attention to the rocket salad too.

Room for dessert?

Only just! We managed to share this between us.

ALTTiramisu (£12) - you can't really go wrong with this.

And to drink?

We were at the restaurant's soft launch night, so we didn't really get to look at or try the wine list. That said, our chardonnay from the Il Borro estate was very drinkable. But you really ought to start or end your visit here with one of their excellent cocktails.

ALTGiancarlo Mancino mixes the perfect negroni

ALTAnd it really was a truly excellent negroni.

Overall thoughts

This new luxury Italian is pitched perfectly at the moneyed Mayfair crowd. Given its fashion house credentials, the look is more muted than others in the area - there is a LOT of lovely creamy marble here. Given the luxe nature of it all, the food is almost incidental but it certainly does the job. We'll definitely be back for the bar and those amazing negronis.

 

More about Il Borro

Where is it? 15 Berkeley St, Mayfair, London W1J 8DY

How to book: book online

Find out more: Visit their website and follow them on Instagram @tuscanbistrolondon.

Hot Dinners dined as guests of Il Borro. Prices are correct at the time of publication.

 

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