Novikov Italian, Mayfair
To find Novikov on Berkeley Street, just look for the rather impressive line of luxury and supercars parked outside. Popular with tourists, alot of the Mayfair crowd, celebs, and usually very busy; you do need fairly deep pockets to spend an evening here.
Inside, are two restaurants, the pan-Asian and Italian, while downstairs is the Bar Lounge where you can order food from both restaurants.
The Italian restaurant, down a flight of stairs, is a huge well-lit but windowless room, with an open kitchen, a large wood fired oven to one side, and baskets of colourful fruit and vegetables on display. The music is loud, partly to disguise the amplified noises of the large room.
Service is swift rather than elegant as a waiter nearby drops some glasses. The menu offers ‘regional Italian dishes with a contemporary twist’. The buffalo Mozzarella from Campana (served with very sweet datterini tomatoes and basil) was fresh, soft and delicious; and the fried Calamari was crisp with a good tartar sauce. The tagliatelle alla Bolognese was good but rather overpriced at £17, and the not terribly tender lamb chops were disappointing. The grilled baby chicken (with Salmoriglio sauce) was nicely browned on the outside and juicy inside; but the sauce was mostly oil so you need to use all of it to get the flavour. The chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream was delicious and I do recommend ordering this.
It is better to book in advance, and you will be told that each seating is for 2 hours. To book for larger groups, you will have to give card details when booking.
50a Berkeley Street
Mayfair, London W1J 8HA
Monday – Wednesday 12:00pm – 24:15
Thursday – Saturday 12:00pm – 24:45
Sunday 12:00pm – 23:00