Cecconi's at The Ned
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A concession of the celebrated Mayfair Italian, inside City hotel and members' club The Ned.
For Italian street eats, call on Cecconi’s. Street eats, I hear you cry? Surely this is the sibling of the slick A-list Mayfair Italian of the same name? It is. But, on the night of my visit, the casual cooking was the best of what I ate. A small plate of beef and veal meatballs, served as a ‘snack’ in a mellow tomato sauce, was dense and juicy. A marquise-shaped, wood-fired pizzette had deliciously charred edges and a mix of shaved asparagus, slivers of baby courgette and nicely salty pecorino.
But as the prices rose, standards fell. Tuna tartare was a distinct disappointment: the delicate flavour of the hand-cut fish obliterated by an excess of peppery rocket. Lobster ‘spaghetti’ (actually linguine) was decent, rather than dazzling, as was a plate of crab ravioli. Desserts were generous but cloying.
This particular Cecconi’s is effectively a concession, one of six eating zones within the mega-restaurant that is the lobby floor of The Ned. If it’s busy – as it was on the night of my visit – the one-time banking hall can get unpleasantly loud, with live music adding to the cacophony. So ask to sit up at the bar: then at least you can see the band, as well as hear them. And casual it up to the max.