Eats and treats

Brunello Bar and Restaurant, Baglioni Hotel – London

It must have been a good 18 months or so since we were last at the Baglioni Hotel for a special truffle menu.
It was good to be back at this elegant Kensington hotel overlooking Hyde Park and just a few minutes’ walk from High St Kensington underground station. As before there was a friendly welcome from the commissionaires on the door; as well as from the staff on duty at the Reception Desk. In fact we couldn’t fault any of the service – it was impeccable and a special thank you to Alice and Paulinka who looked after us so charmingly in the restaurant.

Italian flare in both design and cooking

Yet there was a change. The bar and restaurant had had a make-over and were even smarter than before thanks to that special Italian flare for design. Yet it was also welcoming; and we liked the well-spaced immaculately set tables, the comfortable chairs, the glamorous lighting and luxurious drapes at the window. We agreed that it must all look really splendid at night.
The kitchen is under the direction of Executive Chef Alberto Rossetti who commutes between London and the Baglioni hotel in Venice. He loves cooking traditional Italian dishes using the wonderful ingredients from Parma, where he had trained as a chef, but likes giving them a modern twist.
Alongside his favourite pastas and risottos the menu also features a recent passion of his – the art of combining science with gastronomy to create a cuisine which avoids the use of fats and is based on vitamin rich ingredients said to prevent cellular aging.
For starters one of us chose the fresh buffalo mozzarella with roasted tomatoes (£9), whilst the other (determined to have an attempt at fighting the aging process) chose the vegetable stuffed Portobello mushroom with spiced gratin served in a delicious mushroom broth poured at the table (£9). Both got the ‘excellent’ vote.
Brunello review 2
Also voted excellent were our main courses of grilled sea bass fillet on a bed of baked (or were they grilled) vegetables (£18) and the aubergine parmigiana (£12). We felt that the latter looked a little sparse on the plate and that maybe a few salad leaves would be a nice addition!
As to the desserts – absolutely scrummy. Sticking to my anti-ageing policy I chose Bendolce made from honey, pollen, raspberry and crunchy hazelnuts (same calories as two apples) whilst friend was ecstatic about the pretty and delicious pudding assortment – both £9.
Brunello review 3

Other menu options

Whilst we’ve not tried it yet we thought that the Bar menu looked rather tasty too, and bearing in mind that the Royal Albert Hall is only a few minutes away that the Pre-Theatre menu (5pm – 7pm Monday to Sunday) for £23.50 was an excellent idea. Or how about calling in for an early evening glass of prosecco or other drink; it comes with complimentary small bites including the Chef’s saffron risotto, arancini, bruschetta, olives and pieces of Parmigiano Regianno and frittata.
With summer just around the corner a picnic in the park could be fun. For £40 for two people the hotel can provide an Italian hamper which includes the likes of piadina with Parma ham, mozzarella and scamorza cheese, rosemary and potato focaccia, frangipane cake with berry jam. Yummy!

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