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Stagioni is priced a little too high for a neighbourhood Italian, but then the ‘Nightingale Triangle’ – as estate agents like to call it – is no ordinary neighbourhood. Here you can get away with charging nearly a tenner for a starter, the same for pasta, but around the £20 mark for a meat dish (vegetable side dish not included).
In its favour, the cooking is good – we liked the rose-coloured veal of the vitello tonnato, and the grilled suckers of the meaty octopus leg. Some dishes, such as the hake with polenta crust, were properly evocative of southern Italy. But there were too many grating details to make this a destination restaurant.
On our visit the welcome was brusque and the manager appeared to be in a hurry to get his diners out on the dot of closing time. He made it quite clear it was time for customers to leave – by loudly clattering the outdoor shades shut – leaving diners dazzled by the restaurant’s exterior floodlighting. Our waitress was little better, as the service was both perfunctory and clumsy. This is not the sort of hospitality Italians are famous for – especially when the bill comes to as much as a top West End ristorante.
95 Nightingale Lane
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