Since their launch back in September last year , Italian restaurant Diciannove in the City has maintained a steady flow of positive reviews. Never one to miss out on a good Italian the Handbook hotfooted it to Blackfriars on Wednesday to check out what all the fuss was about.
Entering through the front entrance of The Crowne Plaza hotel we were curious how the restaurant would stand out from the four star venue. Quite quiet for a Wednesday evening , most of the diners were presumably guests from the hotel but a few larger groups were dotted around looking like they were having a pretty good time. Having our coats taken by incredibly friendly door staff we were shown to a frankly enormous booth table which despite initially being a bit of a laughing point, we soon grew appreciative of when later enormous hoards of food started to arrive at the table. Kicking off with a sweet Apple Spritzer on the recommendation of the bar staff we settled in for a night of Italia.
The starters (me opting for Burrata Crostini a mozzarella, aubergine concoction and my partner pushing for the scallops) came plentiful and fantastically fresh. The scallops were seasoned well and cooked to perfection and the enormous mozzarella ball quite literally exploded with cream when cut into. If we were being picky, a slight criticism here could be the mozzarella to foccacia situation which was slightly hard and we could have done with more of to mop up the sheer amount of cheese! We then both followed on to meat mains, the lamb loin and veal both cooked beautifully but the lamb’s accompaniments of courgette and baby tomato trifolata maybe being a tad forgettable. A trio of desserts included a rich chocolate mousse, a creme brulee with huge strawberry chunks and finally a boozy tiramusu to finish off with were perfect and deliciously moreish. A very friendly waiter even persuaded us to finish with an espresso martini but after that we were well and truly done.
Modern, sticking to its Italian roots and a million miles away from the breadsticks and single plastic flower high street chains we were overall very impressed by the restaurant. The modern, slick interior makes it as perfect for a business lunch as it would be for a catch up dinner with friends. Diciannove in the City we will be back!