Being a lover of Italian food we were very interested to try the latest restaurant from the Salt Yard group. Especially as it was under the guidance and creativity of head chef Ben Tish. This is a sicilian style restaurant set in the heart of the very popular area of charlotte street and believe me is an absolute gem.
As we had a week of work it gave us the opportunity for a midweek lunch. So we made our way to tottenham court road station before taking the short five minute walk to charlotte street. We arrived at the restaurant to receive a fabulous friendly welcome before being escorted to our table. This was to be in a little two seater booth on the ground floor. The restaurant itself is set over three floors with a mixture of booths and tables as well as a private dining room on the third floor.
We started with a Classic Negroni and a Bacca Rossa cocktail while we took a look at the menu. This is set out with a selection of snacks followed by a choice of small plates. You then move to the pasta section for which you can have a small or large portion. This leads to the large plates before finishing with a dessert menu. After a very helpful chat with a waitress we were able to create a four course menu where the two dishes from each course would arrive at the same time. We thought this was great so she gave us a couple of minutes to decide.
First to arrive was the Focaccia Bread with olive oil and the Nduja , orange blossom honey Crostini that were quite spicy but absolutely amazing.
This led us to the the Small Plates where we started with the Charcoal Grilled Red Prawns with aleppo chilli salt & caramelised lemon as well as the Crispy Fried Baby Squid with preserved lemon , sesame seeds & squid ink aioli. On the tasting of these two dishes we just knew we were in for a treat as the flavours were amazing.
Now we moved on to the Pasta where we both decided to opt for a small sized portion. My wife chose her favourite Gnocchi this came with marsala cream , seasonal mushrooms & lardo di nebrodi. For my I had the Pasta Alla Norma which was with aubergine , tomato & ricotta. These were fantastic pasta dishes where our only disappointment was not ordering the larger portions.
This led us to the main event of the Large Plates and straight away my wife was drawn to the Aubergine Parmigiana. For myself there was only one choice which was the Hake which came with borlotti beans , mussels , datterini tomatoes , olives and a summer herb aioli. These dishes were simply stunning and when accompanied with the sides of Fried Potatoes , grated pecorino & truffle took the dishes to another level.
Now it was time to finish with Dessert and what was about to come was absolutely delicious. My wife decided to have a homemade Cannoli filled with a bitter chocolate ganache. For myself I opted for the ‘Norma’ Tiramisu with Pistachio and let me tell you right here and now this was the best Tiramisu you will ever have in your entire lifetime. This was a dessert from heaven so I would like to personally thank the pastry chef for this stunning creation.
With an espresso to finish brought to an end an absolutely fabulous Sicilian lunch. The food was amazing and was equally matched by great cocktails , good wine and excellent friendly service making this a fantastic dining experience and one I would highly recommend trying.
Thank You Ben and all your team for a fantastic lunch and look forward to seeing you all again soon.