Warm, lazy summers, beautiful architecture, and home of pizza, the Italians seem to have got it right. What more could they do, you ask? We have one word for you: aperitivo. This idea, cultivated in Milan, marries drinks and small platters to create social dining at its finest. Ritorno, a recent addition to the Kings Road, brings the authentic aperitivo experience to the heart of Chelsea, with a twist.
Drinks take centre-stage at Ritorno, with Regional Specialities inspired by native Italian poets and four sub-sections of cocktails guaranteed to test your decision making skills. Distinctly decadent, the Perla combines silver pearl powder with rose-petal and orange liqueurs, whilst the Lady Guilia is blended with a London favourite Berto Dry Gin and a raspberry shrub, topped with prosecco. Ritorno have also updated favourites bringing the Milan Mule into the fray, with homemade clementine and cinnamon syrup, and the Negroni, using Italian craft gin and one of twenty exclusive vermouths, aging for one month in marsala washed oak barrels for ultimate booziness.
Say goodbye to meagre helpings of crisps and a few sad peanuts at the bar, as classic aperitivo dishes and plates such as the pan brioche polpo e cicoria; a pan brioche with tomato confit, octopus mayonnaise, pan-fried octopus and Italian chicory, are available, as well as a whole host of fresh produce, made the Italian way, in the UK.
A sputnik lamp draws the eye to the interiors, mixing 50s quirky with elegant Murano glass, for an interesting take on an intimate space. Ritorno’s selection of desserts, from a light, citrus strudel, to a Gianduja chocolate fondant, make a ‘just one drink’ evening a thing of the past. Anyone free straight after work?
Ritorno is now open at 442 King’s Road, Chelsea