Osteria Emilia’s owners, Renate and Raffaele Giacobazzi, have a good reputation locally for their well-established delicatessen further along Fleet Road. Their first restaurant is discreetly tucked into a ruddy brown new-build property with dining tables spread over two floors. Upstairs, a skylight, white shiplap ceiling and painted white brickwork make the limited space seem generous and relaxed. Starters include the likes of bresaola, grilled polenta with various toppings, and specials such as pea soup with mint and olive oil; pasta dishes might be tagliatelle with courgettes and prawns, or spaghetti with bottarga. A simple dome of lemony venus black rice (purple once cooked) came with perfectly-done squid, prawns, clams and gorgeous scallops. Roast duck was as good as it gets – tender, pink, juicy and with crispy skin – but partnered with a chestnut disc with all the lightness of an ice-hockey puck. Chocolate cake was drier than ideal – thank heavens for the good ice-cream served alongside – but we couldn’t fault the correctly wobbly vanilla panna cotta. It came with delicious cherries poached in lambrusco, giving the meal a grown-up finish that wasn’t too sweet. Service can be slow, but is well-meaning, and you can’t argue with house wines of Umbrian tribbiano and Veneto merlot for £12.50 a bottle.
|Venue name:||Osteria Emilia||Contact:|
85 Fleet Road
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-2pm, dinner served 6.30-10pm Tue-Sat|
|Transport:||Tube: Belsize Park tube or Hampstead Heath rail|
|Price:||Main courses £9-£19|