What can you tell us about ROVI?
It's the latest restaurant from Yotam Ottolenghi, this time in Fitzrovia. You'll probably know him best for the ever-popular Ottolenghi cafes and restaurants - but this is probably closer to NOPI in execution (even down to the use of CAPITAL LETTERS in the name) which we have to admit to never having visited. This restaurant sees a focus around fermentation and fire (not completely dissimilar to ex-NOPI head chef Scully in St James's Market). And they're placing huge importance on sourcing and low waste too.
Where is it?
It's in Fitzrovia - and a particular section of Fitzrovia that hasn't been best blessed with good bars or restaurants (if you take a Londoner's approach of having a very small radius when looking at these things). It's on Wells Street, not too far away from Riding House Cafe.
Where should we meet for a drink first?
It's only about a five-minute walk from our favourite drinking spot in the area, The Wigmore - always a good (and affordable) place to grab a beer or glass of wine. And if you wanted to kick things up a notch, you could go to Artesian for a proper cocktail.
But there's a bar at ROVI too?
There is a LOVELY looking bar at ROVI. You can also eat here if the rest of the room is booked up, but it's a great place to grab a cocktail. Alternatively, there are stools by the front window - so it's a good place to drop in for a drink and some snacks, not just for lunch or dinner. Cocktails are decent - although on the higher price end at £11-£12 - and we'd say the "Perfect Serves" seasonal gin and tonic cocktails, are probably the drinks to aim for (along with a certain martini that we'll be getting to later).
And where should we sit?
This place will be busy for months - and some of the tables are quite close together, particularly along the central section. We think either sitting by the side, or ideally on one of the bar counter seats are the best bet.
What's on the menu?
It's primarily a small plate affair. So order 2-3 dishes at a time, and hang onto a menu. That'll stop you from being overwhelmed (and lets you work out how much you'll need as you go along). They also have a "with drinks" section - which we would term "what to have while you're reading the rest of the menu". So look at that part first. And there are a lot of vegetarian options on the menu too - it's all divided into veg, meat and fish options.
Here's what we had on the night...
Leave room for dessert?
Yes - you should always leave room for dessert. Although we'd go for something slightly different at ROVI...
What about drinks?
We've covered cocktails and as for wines, there's no getting around it - this is a punchy list. The cheapest bottle of red is £30 (Cuvée des Galets, Les Vignerons d’Estezargues) and there are about eight bottles under £40, but prices accelerate from there. We went for what's essentially the house white Pecorino/Trebbiano at £32 (Ciu Ciu, Falerio, Oris Bianco, Marche, Italy, 2017) which was perfectly drinkable - but nothing terribly memorable. So you'll want to budget higher to get the more interesting varieties.
Yotam Ottolenghi can do no wrong in many people's eyes and he takes his time expanding his mini restaurant empire. A great deal of thought has gone into delivering ROVI - it's a beautiful room, there's much care about the provenance and we really do like the central bar area. The menu delivers some outstanding hits - the corn and the potatoes - but may be a stretch for some with the offal-heavy Jerusalem mixed grill. But there's a huge buzz about the place and we think this will be just as successful as NOPI. Just make sure to have that Tiramisu Martini...
Hot Dinners dined as guests of ROVI. Prices are correct at the time of writing.
More about ROVI
Where is it? 59 Wells Street, London W1A 3AE
How to book : Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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