If you’re accustomed to the clash and clatter of hard surfaces in modern restaurants Murano may come as a shock. Plump upholstery, crisp linens and warm leather ensure a sumptuous, serene setting for a meal that draws as much on French fine dining as Italian staples. Chef-proprietor Angela Hartnett pops out regularly to chat with obvious regulars, diners linger long over numerous courses and pricey wines, and waiters glide silently between tables ensuring that service is impeccable.
It’s a winning combination when the cooking is as assured as Hartnett’s. Dishes are in tune with the elegant surroundings. Crab tortelli was perfectly proportioned, its pasta springy and filling delicate. Almond purée was the inventive accompaniment to heartily dense roast sweetbreads. Creamy borlotti beans featured in a filling, chunky chowder of Cornish haddock, sweetcorn and clams, yet the combination did not cloy the palate.
To finish, a light yoghurt mousse sat prettily alongside vermillion gariguette strawberries. The set lunch menu is a bargain for a special occasion; come often enough and Angela might start stopping by your table too.