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An upmarket Italian restaurant in Mayfair with a weekend DJ and party vibe.
Owned by Chelsea players David Luiz and Willian, the vibe at this Mayfair Italian restaurant is seriously swanky. Interiors are in neutral tones but two large murals add colour. Flanking the entrance of the smallish 26-cover spot is a DJ booth, and giant pendant bulb lights hang from the ceiling. This is a good place to eat if you’re leaning into your weekend: on our Saturday night visit, Brazilian beats (both players are from Brazil) pumped out until 8.30pm; then there was loud dance music.
It was hell choosing between the 14 starters. The parmesan and truffle arancini had a lovely oozy filling. Deliciously salty cod and crab croquettes came piled up on top of one another. Of the mains, order the salt-baked sea bass (£35) if you want a show: our waiter appeared with a board topped with a mound of salt. He carved away at it to reveal the fish, then skinned and deboned it in front of us. Another excellent dish was the lobster linguine: every al dente string of pasta coated in a sweet-tasting sauce.
Tiramisu, too, was theatrical: the waitress drizzled cold coffee over a cream-filled chocolate ball on a sponge crumb. Fun, but the result was a tad lacking in flavour.
It’s also pricey, but this is Mayfair, and overall Babbo delivers on well-cooked, quality ingredients and top-notch service. The only real bugbear: the many helpful staff tended to gather by the bar, which makes sitting there noisy, so choose your seats carefully. We didn’t see any footballers on this visit but even without them, Babbo is glam.
39 Albemarle St
|Transport:||Tube: Green Park|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £150.|
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