Please note, Phoenix Bar & Grill is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink Editors.
The big draw at the Phoenix is its large front terrace, hidden from the sight (if not the sounds) of Lower Richmond Road by bamboo screens strung with fairy lights, and protected from the sun by huge umbrellas. Patio heaters keep it toasty in colder months. The spacious interior is attractive too, with white walls hung with modern art and a mix of blond-wood furniture and leather club chairs. The Italian-themed food doesn’t quite live up to the setting. Slices of citrus fruit were a tangy addition to a starter salad of pan-fried tiger prawns, but the dish was overwhelmed by uninspiring greenery. A generous hunk of sea bass with mussels and clams in tomato broth was marred by overcooked fish. Better was roast salmon, the flesh kept moist by a casing of pistachio nuts. Own-made pasta (including signature dish, vincisgrassi maceratesi, a rich lasagne based on an 18th-century recipe) adds variety. Desserts are large; mango and passion-fruit sorbets were intensely flavoured, but mango pavlova had too much (good) meringue and not enough cream. Lively staff and a nicely priced wine list keep everything running smoothly.