If wintry weather means flight delays then why not bring the shores of the Riviera to W1. Pescatori in Mayfair has everything you could want in a seafood restaurant, plus stacks of Italian charm.
Situated in Mayfair’s culinary corner, this Dover Street diner pulls in punters as easily as mackerel in season. Its muted décor of blonde wood panelling and pistachio ceilings welcomes frosty diners into a warm cosy dining room, while clever use of mirrors makes it seem larger than it is. For a more private affair, the downstairs hosts a gorgeous private dining room seating sixteen.
Despite its rather formal front this little Italian restaurant is friendly and charming to boot. With the Ritz just around the corner, Pescatori’s clientele is a little more well-to-do and it’s popular with both residents and professionals working in the area.
The menu is pretty succinct with a handful of good starters, standard pasta dishes and some interesting fish and meat mains. Along with the a la carte, there is fresh fish board with catches of the day and a seafood platter.
Starters include a wonderfully comforting cannelloni al granchio (£9.50). Served with a sea urchin and smoked butter sauce, these two fat rolls of pasta are stuffed with a delicious crab filling before being baked, and is comfort food at its highest level. Another winner is the seared scallops with lobster (£10.50) which is served with a rich, truffle veloute and is just as delicious, if not quite as generous. The lobster linguine (£21) is for the truly hungry. A mountain of linguini is tossed in a San Marzano tomato sauce and huge pieces of fresh lobster tossed through the pasta. It's fresh, fragrant and plentiful.
The roast turbot with a gentle tarragon sauce and celeriac chips (£21.50) is soft, buttery and utterly heavenly. From the handful of side dishes, the crispy fried zucchini (£3.25) is a must with all its hot, salty friedness.
As for dessert, even the fullest bellies can manage the super-light and fruity tartina alla prugne (£5.75), a nice plum tart served with iced clotted cream. The chocolate fondant (£5.75) served with mint ice cream is a heavier option, but its nice and light and squishy on the inside, with a good cocoa flavour.
Pescatori is proudly Italian, but not so much so as to not allow any other wine on to its menu. The house white is a good crisp trebbiano chardonnay (£18.50) with the red a similarly priced Veneto merlot. Despite the fancy Mayfair address and classy clientele, the wine list is remarkably reasonable for this type of establishment, with not even its best Barolo coming in over £70. For those who like a bit of fizz to start the evening, the Champagne cocktails are a snip at £7.95 while good grappas starts at £5 a shot.
The Last Word
Pescatori is a lovely surprise in this notoriously pricey part of London. It serves excellent Italian seafood in a friendly, classy environment without costing a small fortune. Recommended.