Aldo Zilli’s relationship to this restaurant group was underlined by his presence at the front tables, discussing business, when we entered. It didn’t seem to put anyone off, and within half an hour on a weekday lunchtime the close-set tables were crammed with a cheerful mix of office folk, shoppers and tourists. The garish decor of marble and yellow cushions is only slightly tempered by a part-open kitchen and displays of food. Busy white-jacketed waiters add to the sense of bustle, and service is correspondingly prompt. An extensive menu takes in salads, pasta, risottos and grills, but the emphasis is on small sharing plates, some of which are authentic Venetian cicchetti and some not. Parma ham salad with tomato, cucumber and baby mozzarella showed good sourcing and sensitive seasoning. Spaghetti carbonara (not the easiest dish to divide on to separate plates) swam in a golden pool of eggy sauce. Coconut and chocolate tart, one of two desserts of the day, was too rich to finish. The breakfast menu features an appealing full english as well as the likes of black truffle omelette; it’s a handy spot to know pre- or post-theatre too.