Cecconi's, W1S 3EP
- 020 7434 1500
- 5a Burlington Gardens, W1S 3EP
- 7am-1am Mon-Fri; 8am-1am Sat; 8am-midnight Sun
Set on a corner site, the restaurant spreads around a large central bar area, with expansive round tables, laid with heavy white tablecloths and well-spaced. Smaller tables line up along the floor-to-ceiling windows, some of which are opened out in the summer weather, as there are more small tables on the street (under awnings). The restaurant is often quite busy and booking is advisable; reservations were for 1.5 hours on Ewan's August 2009 visit, though they didn't enforce this strictly in the end.
Service is brisk and efficient, with plenty of waiters flitting about. The wine list is extensive, covering a variety of regions and styles; staff are happy to help advise, and there are also recommendations in the menu.
One of the features of the menu are the ciccheti (billed as Italian tapas), a range of smaller dishes. We shared four of these to start, before moving on to a main course and dessert, which seemed like a good amount and with wine came to around £45 each.
Ewan had the quail eggs with tonné (a tuna-based sauce, it appears, £4) photo and courgette flowers stuffed with smoked ricotta and basil (£8) photo from the Ciccheti menu, both dishes very tasty. Sarah's anchovy crostini (£5) were enthusiastically received, and aubergine parmigiana (£6, can be seen in the background to the quail eggs photo) was also perfectly good.
For the main, Sarah had the beef carpaccio (£10), while Ewan's aubergine, scamorza & basil cannelloni (£14) photo was a definite highlight of the meal, the scamorza cheese oozing from between the layers of pasta, the dish topped with plenty of fresh cherry tomatoes. Desserts (all £7) were also a very good standard, with an attractively-presented tiramisu photo and chocolate fondant with mascarpone ice cream photo.
Ewan's verdict: If this place gets busy, it's for good reason, as the food is very good and for the quality not too pricy either. I would happily return for another meal.