Conveniently, the Charlotte branch’s kitchen is open all day and I was simply chuffed to have dinner there at 5pm.
Like most Italian menus the items tend towards the simple side using no more than five ingredients on average. Salad averse by nature I couldn’t help but be lured by the attractive ingredients in the Buffalo Mozzarella, Fig, Almond and Wild Honey Salad (£8.50). The abundant, pillowy cheese combined with a perfectly ripe fig was a match made in heaven and the almonds just added a delicious crunch to a perfect dish. Definitely the best salad of 2012!
Somehow more serious in nature the Baby Artichoke, Roma Tomatoes and Dolcelatte Salad (£7.50) paled in comparison. All ingredients were superb and the fresh baby artichoke was especially appreciated since a good one is so rare in this country.
The sheer size of the Grilled Dover Sole almost made up for being priced at a whopping £34. A display ensued where our waiter carefully filleted the fish for us. Although the little show was fun to watch, in the time it took the food had gone lukewarm. That said, the fish was expertly cooked and tasted divine.
The Diver Scallops (£19.50) matched really well with the sweet and chewy roasted Jerusalem Artichokes and Baby Leeks and the sweet Barolo Wine Reduction was to die for.
The Herb Roast Potatoes (£3.50) came in strange balls and were rather dull. Unattractively presented in its original foil, the Roast Carrots (£3.50) were a complete flop. It was as if they were steamed in foil, then opened up so that the edges could get charred at the last minute. The accompanying Gremolata was on the bland side too.
No chestnut flavour could be discerned in the Chestnut and Chocolate Tart but the dessert was enjoyable nonetheless.
My biggest gripe with Pescatori, as with Catch, is its lack of warm, grilled shellfish; seafood platters if you will. Restaurants, sometimes rightly, are obsessed with pleasing the general public because otherwise they would go out of business very quickly. With a proven track record of over 45 years Pescatori thus far has kept on the right track. Why not teach Britons that there is more to life than miserable, poached and cold seafood platters? Bistro du Vin (check out Hot Roasted Shells) had the balls to do it and frankly, I think the Pescatori’s kitchen would have executed it better.
7/10: Excellent starters and main courses. Forgettable side dishes.
7/10: My salad was huge but think the sole could have been cheaper.
9/10: Italian hospitality is famous for a reason.
6/10: Bit basic and “rustic”.
7/10: Nice and quiet around 4-5pm and slowly builds up with chattering crowds.
7/10: If you crave something from the sea, Pescatori knows what it’s doing.
P.S. I was a guest of Pescatori.
Pescatori Charlotte Street
57 Charlotte Street