Don’t be fooled by the truly terrible 3-D ‘art’ featuring buxom women on the walls, and the cartoonish giant earthenware platters on the tables. This delightful Italian restaurant offers some seriously good food, most of it fish- and shellfish-based, expertly cooked, well-presented, and professionally served by smiling staff. What impresses most is the quality of the ingredients: a mozzarella starter was melt-in-the-mouth creamy; clams were small but intense in flavour, lending spaghetti frutti di mare a truly evocative taste of southern Italy. There’s a pleasing selection of pastas here, along with fish dishes and a handful of meat main courses to appease omnivores. Top of the range is a mixed seafood grill boasting half a lobster, various other shellfish, squid and octopus – all of it tender and succulent enough to leave an exquisite juice, ideal for mopping up with the restaurant’s bread, which came piled high. Desserts were as colourful and much better looking than the art, and house wine at £14.50 was highly drinkable. Coffee, served with pretty petits fours, left us feeling we’d been to Italy and back in two short hours.
3 Russell Gardens
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Fri, Sun. Dinner served 7-11pm Mon-Sat.|
|Transport:||Tube: Shepherd's Bush or Kensington (Olympia) tube/rail|
|Price:||Main courses £10.50-£23.50. Set lunch (Mon-Fri) £17.50 2 courses; (Sun) £19.50 2 courses, £24.50 3 courses.|