Angela Hartnett's Murano has been serving fine if rather fancy Italian food since 2008 and just last month saw the opening of little sister restaurant, Cafe Murano, round the corner on St James' St.
I visited on a Thursday night and when booking was pleased to see you can choose either table or bar eating at online reservation stage. Love that. We propped up the bar and got stuck in to a hearty 4 courser.
Dinner began with some incredible focaccia, we had 3 servings throughout the evening, with some dark green peppery olive oil to dunk the bread into. It's pillowy centred, flavored with rosemary and sea salt and it has the most amazing crispy crust. Some of the nicest bread I've ever eaten and I love my bread.
We couldn't resist the truffle arancini (£3) from the cicheti section of the menu, which was served swiftly alongside our aperitifs, gin martini for Art and a lemony champagne cocktail for me, forget the name of it, but it was brilliant. Then we ordered pasta dishes for primi, which frankly, is what we were there for.
For me, rabbit pappardelle (£11) which was everything I'd hoped it would be. Rich meaty sauce and the freshest pasta, perfectly cooked, of course. Art was marginally less pleased with her wild boar fettuccini as the meat was almost diced, or minced, it's a small gripe, I tried it and it certainly tasted the part.
Onto secondi and I ordered the ox cheek on polenta (£19.50), I was torn between this and the risotto milanese with osso buco but was ultimately pleased with my choice. The tender meat on a bed of creamy runny polenta, was like a plate of comfort, perfect for a grim wintery night, and just what I needed after a shitty day at work.
The pork chop was similarly well received and greedos that we are, we also had roasted root vegetables and potatoes, which we barely made a dent in, but they were excellent. I could just about manage a scoop pf fig sorbet for pud (£4) which wasn't sweet enough for my liking and a spoonful of Art's tiramisu, which was fantastically boozy.
After a couple more drinks, we left feeling content and full up. We spent a little more than usual, about £80 each but the food is worth every penny and here I find myself making that old familiar impossible statement, I'd like to think I'll be able to revisit before I ship off to Canada, but it's now looking less and less likely as the days go by and my list of places to squeeze in before March grows longer and longer. I might have to start having 2 dinners.....
33 St James' Street