Named after the swish Roman thoroughfare, Via Condotti provides understated elegance and pared down Italian restaurant food on one of Mayfair’s swankiest shopping streets. Prices aren’t extortionate for the location and for the quality of classic combinations distinctively presented (buffalo mozzarella with a skinned plum tomato quartered into fleshy ‘petals’, for example).
This metropolitan, rather than rustic, style of Italian cooking depends on the quality of ingredients to stand out; the mozzarella was good, yet not as exceptionally creamily unctuous as it can be. Seafood shone out. Squid, chargrilled to juicy, smoky, caramelised perfection on delicate slices of sweet, earthy beetroot, and a special of sea bream with potatoes, artichoke hearts and olive dressing were both spot-on. But stodgy scialatielli pasta with an unattractive veal and carrot ragù put the kibosh on our appetite for pudding (from a short list that includes an inevitable tiramisu).
Service was efficient, but not effusive service (a top-up of tap water would have been appreciated). It seems that in the past year Via Condotti has become a little less like being in Rome and a little more middle of the road.