An Italian takeover of an opulent West End icon.
If you’ve never poked your head around the door of the 133-year-old Criterion restaurant, what are you waiting for? With its gold mosaic ceiling and other luscious features inspired by exotic corners of the globe, it offers a rare window on a long-gone imperial world. (It is, incidentally, where Downton’s Lady Edith went for ‘date night’).
In recent years the Criterion’s owners have struggled to make this cavernous, eye-grabbing dining room pay: its latest incarnation is as the London outpost of Savini, a supremely upscale Milanese restaurant. The food is very good – but so it should be when a meal for two with a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses of champagne comes to well over £200.
The veal Milanese (£29) was a whopping slab of crisp and tasty meat, while the pasta of the day (£28.95) – ‘woven’ intrecci with white prawns and scallops – was a highlight. The trouble is, Savini boasts extravagant prices but no atmosphere. The new bosses have dampened the longstanding opulence with a layer of conservative Italian decor, but it’s hard to see this place becoming a hip spot for anyone, regardless of budget. My advice? Splash out at the plush bar just to take in the surroundings.
Savini at Criterion offers all-day dining, serving ritzy breakfasts with delicious home-made pastries. There is a wide selection of exquisite Italian dishes to enjoy for lunch and dinner. Let us not also forget the best Italian coffee served with complimentary home-made biscuits.
With many West End theatres just minutes away, Savini at Criterion offers the perfect location for pre-and post-theatre dining.
Indulge in our afternoon tea, with decadent English and Italian savoury and sweet treats on offer, complimented by a choice of over 20 teas and infusions. At the end of a busy day, a warm ambience and live piano music greets you; treat yourself to one of our signature cocktails with a traditional Italian Stuzzico at the Iconic Long Bar - the inspired meeting place between Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in ‘A Study in Scarlet’.
Our semi private Fireplace Room provides elegant and discreet surroundings, suitable for many occasions, from meetings and workshops, cocktail receptions, dinner parties, family gatherings to birthdays and anniversaries, Savini at Criterion offers the perfect setting for your event.
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This has to be one of my favourite restaurants in London. If you're looking for a place in town with a real "wow factor" then this has to be first on your list. Based in the heart of London's Theatreland (Picadilly Circus), the huge golden ceilings & crystal chandeliers of Savini take your breath away from the moment you step through the door. Once you've caught your breath, prepare to be swept off your feet with impeccable and attentive service. The food is exquisite Italian, and though I only went for dinner I know that they offer everything from freshly baked pastries at breakfasts to one of the best afternoon teas in town. If you are looking for an unforgettable dining experience then Savini at Criterion will not disappoint.