I’ve not eaten in Sartoria before and I’m not sure why because it’s just off Savile Row, a skip from Regent Street and a two-minute walk from New Bond Street, well placed to end a marathon shopping trip. They’ve also got a bar where you can stop off for a cheeky glass of something and a place to rest your bags and give your arms a much-needed rest.
Sartoria is the Italian for, you’ve guessed it, tailor and when we ate the plates featured a four hole button motif. Diners on Good Friday consisted of the lone male regular, to families and women who were lunching. Not packed, but ticking along nicely, although we arrived on the wrong side of lunch and caught the tail end of service.
Each month, Sartoria explores a different region of Italy and is reflected in both the a la carte and set menus which on the day we visited was £21 for two courses and a very reasonable £26 for three.
How we didn’t kidnap the waitress who carried the bread basket is beyond me, because there was every kind of Italian bread from salty foccacia to a superb crusted bread generously studded with both green and black olives. The grissini sticks, were as long and thin as any model on the Milan runway, yet in spite of this, they were gone in a few ravenous bites. There were a choice of two premium olive oils on offer and we opted for the peppery of the two and we weren’t disappointed.
Our waiter was charming, Clauion comes from Martinique and I do I hope you have him look after you. A knowledgeable man with a gentle disposition who shared an interest with Mr’s golf addiction. Clauion has worked at the Belfry but has worked for this group for a while now and knows the menu like the back of his golfing-gloved hand.
We chose the sharing plate of antipasto misto all’italiana sottaceti or cured meats and homemade pickles. From salami to bresaola, there was a choice of regional Italian meats with a quenelle of creamy ricotta along with the most delicately spiced carrot, artichoke, pepper and onion (£11).
Two glasses of Pinot Grigio, Alois Lageder 2010 (£9.50) worked wonderfully and I must make special mention of the Sommelier, Michael Simms.
A wonderful character with a liberal pour (I promised I would not mention just in case Head Office were reading) and it’s this sort of service that will make me recommend the experience and return. His provenance is worth talking about as this charming man has worked at The Grand in Brighton and has served Jackie Onassis at the Ritz. A spell at Claridges, he moved to The Savoy, and then toThe Berkeley. So when he tells you that you’ve ordered a nice wine, he means it. He’s been with this restaurant group since 2003 and has been Head Sommelier here for four years.
We polished off the starter with ease and we looked forward to our mains. I opted for sciatelli ai fruitti di mare, or thick cut pasta, seafood, cherry tomato which wasn’t a la carte but from the specials menu. I had seen it on the menu outside and that’s what initially got us inside. A rather steep £18 for this but I have to say although on the pricey side, it was absolutely worth it. In fact it was incredible.
A beautiful looking plate of thick spaghetti noodles peeked through a rich tomato broth which boasted clams, mussels, prawns, crab, baby squid and a razor clam. Mr’s main was again another great plate of Italian food, short pasta loaded with white veal ragu, bursting with taste and flavour and which as you can see was a real bowl of food.
We had no dessert – simply because we were full to bursting. Shame, we even left the sweet stuff.
The bill for two including a bottle of sparkling San Pellegrino (£4), 3 glasses of Pinot Grigio (£28.50) a shared starter and two mains was £75.50. Service was 12.5% (£9.44) and I have a Regent Street Association card which gets me a further 10% off both food and drink here. With £7.55 deducted, the bill was £77.39. I loved the fact that it came on a velvet pin cushion, folded and secured with a hat pin.
I’d definitely return to Sartoria to sample the dinner service.
Sartoria, 20 Savile Row, 020 7534 7000